Message for Easter Wednesday by Fr Hugh
The Church treats the whole of this week as Easter Sunday, the octave, the eight days of Easter. That is not the end of Eastertide of course that goes on till Pentecost. So throughout this week and beyond the greeting is still, ‘Christ is risen, Alleluia!’ although by the end we tend to feel that it is getting weaker, the chocolate eggs were all eaten a while ago. But we should not.
The fact that Christ is risen should influence all our life. While we read through the accounts of the risen Jesus’ appearances at Mass in the gospel, the first reading is always from the Acts of the Apostles, the story of the early Church. These small communities are experimenting with what it is to be an assembly based on Christ and it does us no harm to look and see what they tried to do. Essentially to come together to praise God, to break bread together, to care for each other and to share their possessions in a very radical way. To meet together for this as equals even if in the wider world they were not seen as such.
As the Church grew it became harder and harder to live up to these early ideals, but throughout the centuries groups of Christians have tried to refind those early roots, some with Church approval and some not, some in a way that would not be recognised by Jesus and some that would.
In each era the Church finds itself in a different place, with a different society around it, but the example of the early communities will undoubtedly speak to us. Some of us are more radical and will search for that radical way of life, others less socially radical perhaps might not go so far socially, but might want to find the simplicity of worship. For others the question is simply, when Jesus left us his message of peace, of forgiveness and healing, of respect, of eternal life, what does that mean in my, our, life, lives.
Perhaps the simplest way to put it is, as Peter found out when he said, ‘I have neither silver or gold, but I give you what I have in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,’ to discover what have we been given by Jesus to offer others today?