Bishop Vincent’s 2024 Easter Message

By Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, 30 March 2024


Dear sisters and brothers, 

Once again, we are entering the most sacred, grace-filled and transformative time in the Church’s liturgy. The long and sombre Holy Week ceremonies that culminates in the celebration of Easter is a powerful re-enactment of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Everything we believe and hold dear is grounded in this paschal mystery.  

Easter gives us the meaning, strength and power to transform the world in which we live. Easter provides us with the horizons of hope within which we strive for the full realisation of the reign of God. 

At the heart of the Easter message is the summons to a new future against the background of entrenched hopelessness. As with Mary and the disciples, who were emboldened to move from the shadows of crucifixion into the light of the resurrection, the Church today must be a pioneer leading humanity to new dawn of greater justice, equality and fraternity.  

We cannot be an inward-looking institution but a missionary and prophetic community of disciples. The God who raised Jesus from the dead leads us beyond our limited horizons to a new future of life to the full. This life to the full is not static or a closed system but ever expanding and evolving. 

In fact, the essence of Christian hope is contained in the abundant life that Jesus brought about through His death and resurrection. The whole point of the Risen Christ is our human capacity to become a new type of person who can do new things for a new heaven and a new earth.  

Hence, we must release ourselves from religious individualism and confront the general religious experience, which is cosmic and evolutionary, and involve ourselves in the divine mandate of the flourishing of the whole of life. Without bringing these understandings into a new religious story that animates our lives and focuses our energies in a new direction, we will have diminished our mission.  

Easter is not merely about our own salvation and the afterlife bliss. Easter is God conquering the forces of evil and darkness. Easter is God reconciling the estranged creation. We are called to partner with God in bringing the victory of the cosmic Christ to fulfilment. Easter, therefore, obliges us to work for both personal and cosmic transformation.  

“Cosmic transformation” means working for the community of life of which we are a part. It means working for the whole of creation that God created, sustains and destines for flourishing. 

It means that we become a place where the poor and the forgotten can be brought into a new unity; a Church that advocates life at all costs and promotes peaceful life in a war-torn and violent world; a Church that models justice in an age of greed, consumerism and power; a Church centred on the risen Christ, empowering a consciousness of the whole. 

In the words of Pope Francis, let’s pray in Easter 2024 that the risen Jesus of Nazareth: “May open us to the newness that transforms, to the beautiful surprises of God. May he help us to feel his presence as the one who is alive and at work in our midst. And may he teach us each day, dear brothers and sisters, not to look among the dead for the Living One.”   

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!  

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv 
Bishop of Parramatta 


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