Response to tragedy witnesses to the Resurrection
The response of Sydney mother Leila Abdallah in her darkest moment of grief following the deaths of three of her and husband Danny’s children together with the children’s cousin on 1 February in Sydney was no mere human response but a supernatural one which demonstrated the truth of Christ’s resurrection, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP told Australia on Sunday Morning.
The Archbishop’s Easter Sunday homily focusing on the truth and relevance of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic was broadcast and livestreamed around the nation by Channel 7.
“It was a superhuman one, a supernatural one, an Easter one,” Archbishop Fisher told a congregation limited to ten by the Covid-19 crisis.
Ordinary people filled with God’s grace
Yet, he added, “this is not a family of superheroes or saints: these are ordinary people who by God’s grace could do extraordinary things in the most terrible of circumstances.”
Christian faith in the resurrection is what gives confidence that the couples’ children, Anthony, Angelina, Sienna and Veronique, “’have been brought back to life with Christ’ and that enables us to let go of ‘earthly thoughts’ like anger and revenge, self-protection and the rest, and dwell instead ‘on heavenly things’ like peace and love, and the glory our young ones now share with Jesus,” he said.
Mrs Abdallah, who was present with her husband in the cathedral, had given the second reading of the liturgy from St Paul.
Archbishop Fisher also welcomed all those of other faiths or no faith at all to the unique broadcast.
“Some of those watching today are not regular Church-goers, others are so, some are not Catholics or even Christians, some still searching: please know that you are most welcome!” he said.
“God and his Church loves you for joining us on this – our most solemn celebration of the year, and we trust that you will be uplifted by what you see.”
Christ’s resurrection remains just as relevant as ever in an age dominated by science, technology, affluence and education, big government and media, he told families across the nation.
It’s precisely to address this sort of thing — the sickness of sin — that Jesus died and rose, as well as to address sin’s triumph in death
But while medical science could address a crisis such as the current pandemic, people everywhere still wonder if there is such a thing as life after death. Meanwhile, there the deep-seated moral, intellectual and emotional problems of human existence remain and are “far more resistant to cure,” he said.
However “it’s precisely to address this sort of thing—the sickness of sin—that Jesus died and rose, as well as to address sin’s triumph in death.”
And while the Covid crisis would eventually pass, it is up to everyone to ensure that the ‘new normal’ Australia will arrive at “is a better normal, more just and compassionate, more hopeful and caring.
“And the Easter season which begins today and extends to the end of time proclaims loud and clear by whom we are saved: Jesus Christ, our sure and certain hope of the resurrection.”
Before Communion, Archbishop Fisher invited all those watching to make a ‘spiritual Communion’, including those who had been planning to become members of the Catholic Church at Easter and who had been looking forward to receiving the Catholic Sacrament of the Eucharist for the first time.
“Know that separation between us does not separate us from God,” he said..
Archbishop thanks commercial broadcaster
Aside from sending his Easter blessings to all those watching, he thanked Channel 7 for making the unprecedented broadcast possible, urging that physical isolation not lead to spiritual isolation.