Easter Sunday Newry Parish Bulletin 17th April 2022 | St Joseph's Convent Primary School Newry

Easter Sunday Newry Parish Bulletin 17th April 2022

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Easter Sunday Newry Parish Bulletin 17th April 2022


Dear Parishioner,


St. John’s account of Easter morning offers an opportunity to speak of the variety of experience which Christians have in living their faith and in coming to a living appreciation of their relationship with the living Lord.  Mary Magdalene first appears in the Fourth Gospel at the cross of Jesus and she witnesses the various events and words of the dying Jesus, an experience which she shared with the beloved disciple.  In the segment of the Gospel being read this weekend, she is associated with darkness turning into light as she comes early to the tomb, the location to which the great event of faith is linked.  Noticing the stone moved, a hint of divine activity, Mary seeks out the authority figure Peter and the other disciples.  Her faith will develop in the company of the other disciples.  Her incipient fear alerts the others to the significant happenings and stimulates them to their own urgent search as they run to the tomb.

When the disciples come to the tomb the evidence is ambiguous.  There is no mention of Peter’s coming to resurrection faith, but the disciples endowed with vision through love come to faith.  Those who have shared in the Cross are characterised as more open to faith than Peter.  Mary will stay at the tomb, weeping but also looking inside where heavenly messengers greet her before she is greeted by the risen Lord and called by name.  It is symbolic of a journey of faith through suffering, desire -sparks of divine grace leading to the encounter of friendship and commitment which leads Mary to evangelising the disciples.

The beloved disciple (John) has been introduced in the second part of the fourth Gospel as having an intimate place at the Supper.  At the Cross he is entrusted with care of the mother of Jesus.  Both these figures are never named personally in the Gospel and are defined by their relationship with Jesus, and function mainly as symbols.  In this role the disciple can discern the pattern of the cloths which bound Jesus’ head and come to faith.  The one who is totally defined by his relationship with Jesus is most ready to discover and discern Paschal faith.  But no account is given as to why this happens.  Peter, the authority figure, is not mentioned again within chapter 20 and one must await the epilogue to see his Resurrection faith made explicit.

The community within the Fourth Gospel was composed nurtured faith, and their written testimony was established as an enduring witness through the subsequent generations.  Lived reality brought people to insight.


God Bless


Canon Francis Brown

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