Bishop McKenna’s Easter Message 2021

As I write these words, we are joyfully expecting to celebrate Easter this year in our churches, side by side and in communion with our sisters and brothers in faith. After the experience of last year, when the churches were closed, this is a gift we do not take for granted.

There are special and beautiful liturgies reserved for Palm Sunday and what we call the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. It will be wonderful to experience God once again communicating with us together: in word and symbol, in sacrament and community, in these solemn rites.

At Easter, we have always seen large numbers participating; more than usually come on Sundays during the year. I have often wondered about the reasons for this, because what we celebrate at Easter – Christ’s Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection, which offers us forgiveness and life – is really renewed whenever and however simply we offer Mass together.

At Christmas time for many years and now at Easter, our Catholic schools in the Diocese hold an exhibition to which students contribute the fruit of their reflections, through their developing skills in the visual arts, on these two key events of our faith. The work I chose this year, by Annabelle Banks from MacKillop College, cleverly uses anachronism to make us think more perceptively about the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

The people surrounding the Lord on his donkey are depicted as paparazzi, keen to get a photograph of this celebrity, who had just raised Lazarus from the dead. There were big crowds gathering for the Passover festival already: among them were devoted followers of Jesus, but also more superficial fans, and others who were merely curious. As we see in media coverage of people and events today, this kind of attention has a short span.

Easter has a profound and mysterious significance for you and me, personally. It is available to be uncovered any week of the year.

+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst