An Easter Message from Rev Dr Robert Billing, Rector of the Catholic National Shrine and Basilica, at Walsingham

Easter is the most important event in the history of the world. Other events are marked by annual observances, both civic and religious. Hence, once a year we celebrate Christmas, Mothering Sunday, and Father’s Day. But Easter is different, as Christians, we have a weekly observance, we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection each and every Sunday as a reminder that it is the most important event in our history and in our Christian lives.

At Easter, the Lord Jesus invites us to emerge from the tomb to walk in the light to know that the world can never be the same because he has conquered sin and death for each one of us. In our own lives no matter how far we are from the Lord, Easter is an invitation, to draw near and to gaze into the empty tomb, to put our fingers in the place of the nails, to renew our baptismal promises and know that we are part of the family of Christ throughout the whole world.

When the risen Lord meets anyone in the Gospels, they are often given a task. The task, at this time, is to join the Easter proclamation, to be witnesses to the new life that is offered by Jesus Christ, even when persecuted, or in distress, or in the midst of war.

At Easter, we celebrate that new life and grace that Jesus Himself offers us. We share in that life and power when we insist that money is not our ruler, that self-promotion is not our King, that pleasure is not a fulfilling aim, and that the ruthless individualism of our age can never bring us true and lasting happiness. The truth is that the new life of the Risen Christ poured forth into our world cannot be contained, nor restricted, and certainly can never be extinguished!

To know the risen Lord, is to know his love, and his invitation to lead an even better life, to treat each other with greater respect and sensitivity. In the light of the Resurrection, our lives will change. Thankfully, we have the powerful prayers of Our Lady of Walsingham to help us in this conversion. She is, after all, the Mother of the Risen Lord, Mother of the Church, and Mother of us all! Let us turn to her, without hesitation, for such unfailing help throughout the Easter season and beyond. May Our Lady of Walsingham obtain for us a fresh experience of the life-giving presence of the Risen Lord, who is the source of our hope, our joy, and our peace.

May Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us!

A Blessed Easter to you all!