Around-up of the highlights of this year’s Easter Message, including Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Justin Welby, Donald Trump, Theresa May, Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster:
At the Easter Vigil, His Eminence Cardinal Nichols reflected on the meaning of the Paschal fire from which the Paschal candle is lit and light then radiates to every individual present:
“The fire is a symbol that is used once in the Church’s year at the Easter Vigil to ‘help us to understand the brilliant, life-changing newness of what we celebrate. Looking at the story of Moses who encounters God in the burning bush and receives from him his mission to demand the freedom of the enslaved Israelites, we too receive a mission ‘that seems as impossible: to bring to this troubled, war-torn, exploiting world, the peace and new life of Christ; to bring to our wayward hearts, with our capacity to misuse people, to belittle them, to cast them aside, the mercy and gracefulness of Christ’.
“It is with the help of the Risen Christ that this mission can be met.” He invited all present to hold high their candle, and to see in the tip of fire “the sign of God’s power and presence now given to you that you too may live in God’s freedom and be his witnesses in your way of life, today and into life eternal”.” Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury:
“The resurrection is a reality that changes everything in our lives. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). Everything we are and own and see is to be lived, and held and understood through the resurrection. But be under no illusion, this is utterly counter to how the world runs itself, and so we live in the now of a world in which the resurrection has happened, and the not yet of a world where there is still evil.
“Christians in Egypt live surrounded by bombs and terror. We and those we love know the grim, grey moments of illness, suffering, arguments, poverty, ill health mental and physical, prison, guilt and failure. We experience a world of pain and despair, grief and death. But, the words Jesus says on that first Easter day he says to you and me now; ‘Do not be afraid’.”
Donald Trump, US President:
“Easter Sunday is a holy day of reverence and worship; it is a sacred time that fills the spirit of our Nation with the faith of our people. America is a Nation of believers. As families gather in houses of worship across the Nation, we are grateful for the tremendous blessings of this land, our home. We have a beautiful country, an abundant countryside, and an amazing people with a truly bright and wonderful future.