Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In the context of all the many Holy Week readings and devotions, we have been able to observe the patient suffering of Jesus: His compassion for the thief on the cross; His words to the women of Jerusalem; His love of the band of disciples at the last supper; and His care for His Mother, even from the cross. Above all, we witness His courage and obedience to the will of the Father, and His submission in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Obedience, love, compassion, humility, kindness, meekness and patience – these characteristics of Jesus which have been on full display throughout our Lent and Holy Week, guide us towards a glorious Easter Day. That is when, in the words of the hymn by Charles Wesley, ‘Love’s redeeming work is done…thee we greet triumphant now; hail, the Resurrection thou!’
But rather than an ending, it is a beginning when the Lord who comes to share our life comes in order to change it. We are invited to be transformed by the resurrection, not just as individuals but also as a community.
And what type of community should that be? One which is compassionate, kind, humble, meek, and patient; one which has clothed itself in love which binds everything together in unity (Colossians 3:12-17). Pope Francis has said this about his vision for the Church – for the Roman Catholic Church, but it will do for us too, ‘I prefer a Church that is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.’ (from Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel)
Holy Week reminds us that the power of the cross is foolish in the eyes of the world, the power of the cross is in the service of others, and the power of the cross is that Jesus Christ was a revelation of God’s love for his world in which God would be glorified. So as we rejoice in the glory of Easter Day, I pray that together we live in the service of others following the pattern of Christ, in and for London.
Bishop Sarah has also written the following reflections for London at Easter, in the midst of anniversaries of the 2017 terror attacks – Hope and Building Community.