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EASTER VIGIL 2019: Archbishop Costelloe: ‘Jesus is the true face of God’


Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB administering the Blessing of Fire during the Easter Vigil Mass held at St Mary’s Cathedral on 20 April. Photo: Ron Tan.

By Amanda Murthy

“Through the resurrection of Jesus, we have the final confirmation that in coming to know Jesus, we come to know God. A God who loves us so much and wants us to be in union with Him, that he came among us as of us, so that we could see, touch and love in Jesus. The God whom we otherwise could never have seen, never have touched, and never have truly loved.”

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB delivered this hopeful message during his homily at the Easter Vigil Mass held at the St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday 20 April.

Joining Archbishop Costelloe were Cathedral Dean Rev Dr Sean Fernandez, Assistant Priests Fr Carmine-John (CJ) Millen and Fr Garner Vergara Jr, Vicar for Clergy, Fr Brian McKenna, Fr Conor Steadman as MC and assisted by Deacon Paul Russell.


Archbishop Costelloe congratulates a baptismal candidate at the Easter Vigil Mass held at St Marys Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.

Archbishop Costelloe began his homily by stating that the contrast between the Good Friday and Easter could not be greater.

“If on Friday we were gazing on an empty cross, tonight we gaze instead on an empty tomb,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“The cross stood silent and empty on Good Friday evening because of the victory of the powers of death. The tomb stands empty tonight because of the victory of the powers of life.

“We are here tonight because we want to celebrate God’s final and definitive answer to the problem of evil.”


Parishioners of St Mary’s Cathedral receive a blessing at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass on 20 April. Photo: Ron Tan.

With the many tragic events that have occurred over the past decade within the Church and in the wider society in the form of violence, abuse, disregard for human life, Archbishop Costelloe said that people can be easily tempted to believe that hate is the stronger force, that violence is the ultimate victor and that closing down and closing in is the only answer.

“However, year after year we keep coming back to celebrate Easter, because the deepest part of us, the place where God can be found, simply will not let us believe that,” Archbishop Costelloe said.


One of the 10 catechumens receiving the Sacrament of Baptism during the Easter Vigil Mass held at St Mary’s Cathedral on 20 April. Photo: Ron Tan.

Jesus’ death which had once caused the disciples to lose hope in Christ changed once they encountered the risen Lord.

“Hope was reborn and now the disciples could finally and fully give themselves to the new understanding of God which Jesus had opened up for them,” Archbishop Costelloe expressed.

“A God of unbelievable love, tenderness and compassion, a God not of anger and revenge but of forgiveness and mercy, a God not distant and aloof but rather closer to us than we could ever have hoped or believed. This is the source of our hope and peace.

"Lord Jesus, risen from the dead, spring of new life for all of us, come into our lives and into our hearts, fill us with that gift of peace and joy which comes from knowing that, in you, we have found the true face of the living God," Archbishop Costelloe concluded.