Easter Reflection 2024

Maria Haggett, Principal of Mater Christi College in the outer east of Melbourne shared this reflection.  The words are adapted from an address given to staff and students at the end of Term 1 Easter Liturgy.

This time last year I was fortunate to be on a tiny Island in the Scottish Inner Hebrides called Iona.  Iona is significant for a number of reasons, but the main reason is that Saint Columba travelled from Ireland to establish a monastery there in 563.  There has been an active Christian community since then.  This means that 2024 will be the 1461st time Easter has been celebrated on that tiny isle.  

So why is Easter such a big deal for Christians?  Well, it is the season of hope and of new beginnings which follows the  self reflection and sacrifice of Lent.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the new beginnings are obvious because it is early Spring; the snow is melting, the days are getting longer and the new green shoots almost glow with brightness.  Here in Australia, we don’t see this, however Easter does coincide with the transition from one season to another.

At Easter we remember and retell the central aspect of the Jesus story.  Let me try to explain it another way.  

If the story of Jesus was a Netflix series, there would be eight episodes. The passion, death and resurrection would be Episode 7.  This would be the one that everyone is talking about at school or work the next day.  It would be all over social media. “Did you see what happened?”  “I did not see THAT coming!”  

So here’s a quick summary (spoiler alert).

After three years of wandering the Judaean countryside, teaching and healing and welcoming outcasts (particularly women and the poor), Jesus fell afoul of the authorities.  He was betrayed by a friend and executed.  His followers were devastated.  Then after three days some women saw him.  Actually saw him alive and radiant!

Episode 7 was UNFORGETTABLE!  Everyone was amazed and couldn’t stop talking about it… “what do you think this means?”  “What’s the message for us in this?”  All the TV critics wrote articles, there was a blog and even a hit podcast.  For once there was agreement between them.  It turns out that the key messages were this:

1.  Good can come from suffering

2. Death is not the end

3. God is eternal

4.  New beginnings are for everyone.

I guess you want to know about Episode 8.  Well, to be honest, that’s up to us.  We’re still writing it.