EASTER 2018: Called to recommit ourselves to the Way, the Truth, and the Life
The Archbishop followed on Easter Sunday by calling for the faithful to take courage in imitating Christ’s example, even through difficult times. Photo: Ron Tan.
By Josh Low
Taking courage to trust in and recommit ourselves to Jesus, who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, and imitate his example was at the heart of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB’s message to the faithful over the Easter Triduum at St Mary’s Cathedral.
Thousands of people were present over the four days which saw the Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday, Stations of the Cross and the Solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Friday, the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, and Easter Sunday Mass.
Archbishop Costelloe washes the feet of a member of the congregation at St Mary’s Cathedral during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. Photo: Ron Tan.
At the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, Archbishop Costelloe explained that Jesus courageously headed out into the darkness, wary of what awaited but fully determined to remain faithful to his Father to the end.
“We begin to understand what following his Way, living according to his Truth, and embracing the Life he offers, will mean for us.
“It will ask much more of us than perhaps we think we can give. And yet, in a very real sense, what other choice do we have?” the Archbishop said.
“Like Simon Peter, who saw so many others walk away from Jesus because it was all too hard, we too know that in the end we have nowhere else to go and no-one else to whom we can turn because only Jesus has the words of life.”
He added to the message on Good Friday, saying in his homily that Jesus as the precious gift of God, reveals to us not only what God is like but what God is asking of us, and what a fully lived life is meant to be.
Crosses were venerated by the faithful during the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. Photo: Ron Tan.
“Jesus lived His life in total and joy-filled commitment to the Father's will, as we are all called to live – and because He would not compromise or walk away in order to avoid the cross, He was, so His enemies thought, destroyed by them.
“Instead He was raised to life by his Heavenly Father. In the Resurrection all that Jesus said of Himself, of God, and about living life as God intends that it be lived, was confirmed as true.
“Our salvation, won for us on the cross because of Jesus' unswerving fidelity, lies in our communion with Him, and our living of our life in imitation of Him,” he said.
“In and through our life in the Church we are being constantly drawn into an ever deeper communion with the Lord.
“His story becomes our story, His mind and heart become our mind and heart and His victory over sin and death becomes our victory; and in this lies the way to salvation.”
The Archbishop followed on Easter Sunday by calling for the faithful to take courage in imitating Christ’s example, even through difficult times.
“We all know how easy it is for us to be driven at times by fear, and to find ourselves unsettled and agitated as we face the various challenges which life presents to us.
“Sometimes the difficulties seem overwhelming, both in terms of our personal lives and in terms of the problems we see, and about which we are inevitably concerned, in the Church and the society in which we live,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“It is not always easy to see a way forward, or even to believe that there is a way forward.”
The clergy lay prostrate on the sanctuary floor on Good Friday. Photo: Ron Tan.
He added that because of this there is the temptation of closing in on ourselves, giving up on looking for answers and solutions, and lock ourselves away from the world like the disciples after the shock of the brutal death of Jesus.
“Yet it is precisely into these situations of hopelessness, or numbing confusion, that the Risen Lord steps, saying to us: ‘Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. I am here. I am with you’,” the Archbishop explained.
“Whenever the Lord says to His disciples: ‘Do not be afraid’, He is really saying: ‘You can trust me’.
“Whenever He offers the gift of His peace, He is really saying: ‘I will be with you’.
“And when, in our renewal of our baptismal promises, we respond to each of the questions confidently and boldly: ‘I do’, we are really saying: ‘Yes Lord, I do believe that you are with me, I do believe that I can entrust myself to you, I do believe that I am safe within your loving embrace, I do believe that you are the one who has the words, and the gift, of life’.
“Our belief, our trusting faith, is all grounded in the rising of Jesus from death to life which we celebrate today.
“Let us with trusting faith once again commit ourselves to Him who really is our Way, our Truth and our Life,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.