Easter

Luke Taylor, Fr Brían MacCuarta and Simon Bishop carrying the cross
“Carrying a wooden cross through Holy Week was a symbolic but very tangible way of remembering Jesus in his passion: eight foot of oak is surprisingly heavy!” writes Luke Taylor, British Jesuit novice who took part in the 2018 Student Cross pilgrimage.The Christian initiative is organised by and for students, young adults, and pilgrims of all ages. Started in 1948, the pilgrimage allows participants to experience Holy Week and Easter Sunday as a living reality.Eleven Legs -  as the groups...
 A young woman gazes upwards. A cross is behind her.
“Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” [John 20.9]“So, what exactly is the point of the ‘bodily resurrection’?”I was once asked this question in a pub by a journalist. And, as always, when I find myself talking in a social environment with a journalist, I hear somewhere off in the background the words of the Police caution… “but anything you do say may be taken down and used in evidence…”But drink had been taken, so I did...
© Traumrune / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
After the discovery of the empty tomb, the disciples had only one instruction to follow in the midst of their fear and uncertainty: go to Galilee. That is still an instruction to us today, says Brian Purfield, because we are in the same place as the disciples: ‘This is where we live: after the resurrection but before the return, entrusted with a message that is wonderful, but the import of which we do not quite understand.’ Where is our Galilee, and how do we get there? As a general rule,...
Mary of Magdala in the garden
Easter is the Christian Pasch, or Passover, although the term itself has passed out of common use. The Holy Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Saturday night Easter Vigil form together a single celebration - the single historical event of what we understand as our human salvation or redemption from sin.The central and most significant event is Jesus’ willingness to give Himself up, in spite of the betrayal of His closest followers, to a rigged trial by His own people, to a...
Eucharist at Taize
Manchester Universities Catholic Chaplaincy took a group of 30 young pilgrims to Taize for Easter week.  Stopping in Birmingham and London to pick up more pilgrims, the group was made of young Christians of different denominations. Their destination was the ecumenical community in France founded in the 1940s by Brother Roger Schutz. Joining around 4000 pilgrims arriving over Holy Week, from all over the world, they took part in the common prayers of the community, Bible studies and sharing...
Empty tomb
‘The walls we build to protect ourselves and to keep others out all contribute to the establishment of a tomb, an abode of the dead, a hell that produces sentiments of anxiety, suspicion, fear and despair’. But the bursting forth of a new world on Easter morning breaks the walls of this tomb and opens our horizons, writes David Neuhaus SJ: ‘resurrection renews hope’. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word ‘horizon’ as ‘the line at the farthest place that you can see, where the sky seems...
Empty tomb Flickr photo sharing
The resurrection of Christ is the most fundamental belief of the Church and has been from the very beginning. St Paul’s comments on Christ’s resurrection are still valid: ‘If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. And those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, then we of all people are most to be pitied.’From the time of the confession of faith of Simon Peter and the disciples, the gathering of...
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Bibel in Bildern
For most of us it is not easy to believe in the resurrection of Jesus: most of us are not in the premier league of beloved disciples: most of the time utter joy and bliss and absolute faith in the God who loves us eternally and unconditionally aren’t obvious to us.  As Christians we see acts of faith around us, we receive compassion and support, we pray together for the people we love; but we also witness lack of faith, resentment or even hatred towards Christians, simply because of what...
Close up of a guitar being played - image from unsplash.com
One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do is play guitar in church, in South America, in the dark.I always used to enjoy playing with the Cathedral choir. But what would often happen is that just as we were playing nicely along a little hymn then suddenly, with no warning, all the lights would go out and we would be plunged into the most absolute darkness. The Blackout came without warning, or prediction, apparently at the time of its own malevolent choosing. Perhaps it was just my...
A shepherd watches over his sheep
I don’t get to say this very often, but for once, I think I really know exactly what Jesus is talking about. My family is from the hill-country of Donegal – good sheep-farming country. And my great uncle William was a good shepherd. Every day until the day he died at the age of 92, the first thing he had to do was to go and check on the sheep and make sure that nothing bad had happened to them during the night. So every morning, before dawn, he would get up, walk the three miles up...

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