2018 Easter Message by Rev Mgr Harry Entwistle
By the Rev Msgr Harry Entwistle
If non-Christians look at the sweating, bleeding Jesus being crucified on Good Friday, do they see another State sanctioned murder or a just end to a rebel?
When Christians look at the same scene, what do they see? St Augustine said that the chief cause of Jesus Christ’s coming was so that people might know how much God loves them. We as humans we know that love is kind, healing and reassuring so how can God’s love be like this brutal act.
But is it strange? Don’t humans suffer when they see their children or friends making a mess of their life? Don’t they suffer with, on behalf and because of those they love? If people don’t want to suffer in this way, they should never love anyone or anything.
Just before his crucifixion Jesus washed his followers feet and told them to love each other as he had loved them, so Christians believe that Jesus’ suffering on the Cross is not the suffering of a defeated, crushed individual, but God suffering with those he loves, namely you and me.
Christians believe his nailed outstretched arms are more than pure brutality. They are the arms of one who loves, pleading to be loved in return.
Jesus is either and unfortunate deluded fool, or he is God who shares our fragile lives and invites us to respond to his love for us.
Now nobody not even God, can make us respond to any love we may be offered. We choose to respond. Now there is plenty of love in the world, but it can easily become perverted. There is no shortage of acts of courageous self-giving, but we also see the opposite, which is not hate, but control, manipulation and persecution. We see generosity and care for others, but there are also greed and avoidance of responsibility. Achievement is recognised, but there is also the crushing of hopes and dreams.
What will you see on Good Friday? Will it be Good?
Because you see God showing that patience, meekness, forgiveness and selfless love is stronger than evil?
Will you see him reaching out to you inviting you to love him and each other?
Will it be Good because you choose to respond positively to a new life?
Or will Friday, March 30th be just another brick in the wall of your life?
And may God bless you and I wish you all a very holy, Holy Week and a joyous Easter. Thank you.
Monsignor Entwistle was the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Educated at St Chad's Theological College, he was ordained a priest in the Church of England Diocese of Blackburn in 1964. After reception into the Roman Catholic Church, he was ordained to the priesthood in St Mary's Cathedral, Perth on 15 June 2012.