“Easter, in the land where it originated as a Christian festival, is celebrated in Spring. New life is bursting through after often long and harsh winters, and the signs of renewal and new beginnings are plain to see. Here in Australia, and even here in the beautiful South-West, things are a little different. We are in the season of autumn, when nature begins to make preparations for the winter which will soon be upon us. Leaves fall from the trees, the mornings and evenings are becoming cooler, and we begin to look in our cupboards for warmer clothes, just in case.

For Christians the autumn season, while it might not seem to mirror the joy of Easter Sunday, does reflect a little better the mood of Good Friday and Holy Saturday. These days speak to us of suffering, of death and of the emptiness of bereavement. Those among us who have lost loved ones will know just how the first followers of Jesus must have felt on the day following His death. Their hopes and dreams died with Him, and they must have been tempted to despair. But incredibly, that sorrow turned to joy when they encountered the risen Jesus and realised that all He had said about the love and compassion of God was true. Life does triumph over death; love does triumph over hate; forgiveness does triumph over retribution.

This is a message of hope which we desperately need to hear as we look around our troubled world. Good people can make a difference – and really good people can make an extraordinary difference. And when good people work together, healing and hope can overcome suffering and despair. It is not only Christians who recognise Jesus Christ as “a really good person”. His life, His teachings, His integrity and His compassion remind us of what we, too, are capable of doing – and being.

May the Easter weekend provide us all with an opportunity to reflect on what we can do to make our own lives a gift for the good of others, as Jesus made His life a generous gift for all”.

Archbishop Tim Costelloe SDB

Apostolic Administrator

Catholic Diocese of Bunbury