Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin attend ‘truly splendid’ enthronement of Archbishop Justin Welby in Canterbury
The Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin were present last week (Thursday 21st March) at the enthronement in Canterbury Cathedral of the Most Revd Justin Welby as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and primus inter pares of the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Welby joins an episcopal succession dating back to AD 597, when St Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.
After the service, the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, told the Gazette that he had found it “a truly splendid occasion in every respect, with a high level of formality and precision, yet with very human and straightforward touches, both in the liturgy and within the address”.
GOOD FRIDAY AND EASTER
We are sometimes asked: ‘Do you want the good news, or the bad news, first?’ It can pose quite a dilemma, but the advantage of hearing the good news second is that, when we hear the bad news, we know that at least something good is coming next. The other way around, we are left in fear that what is good, what we have rejoiced in, is going to be destroyed by the inevitable bad news that we have also been promised. Whichever order one prefers, in a way Good Friday and Easter illustrate how the Gospel turns things on their head – in the best way.
The Kingdom is that realm in which things are turned upside down for their renewal, not their wrecking.
Good Friday, although of holy and good effect, brings the bad news about humanity’s sinfulness and the depths to which we can stoop, as well as being about the terrible suffering that Jesus endured on the cross. Yet, even on Good Friday there was already a kind of ‘resurrection’ at work because the way Jesus suffered could inspire the words of the centurion standing by: “Truly, this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15: 39) Even in the midst of his suffering and at his most unendurable hour, Jesus was quickening faith. Then, on Easter morning, the full truth is revealed: this is indeed the eternal Son of the Father.
The Easter faith gives us confidence in facing our mortality because we see that death did not overcome Jesus’ life, did not bring it to a kind of tragic end, but rather opened up a whole new world of endless life. So too, believing in him, trusting in him, following him, we can hope for the same rising again.
This is what it is to be ‘in Christ’: we are one with him and share in his great victory. We need no longer obsess with staying young for longer, living in this world to be hundreds of years old, because now we see that there is a real transformation that is more perfect than we human beings, with all our nonetheless amazing ingenuity, could ever engineer – the utter transformation of our perishable nature into an imperishable life, of our mortal nature into immortal life (I Corinthians 15: 54). All this is accomplished in us by the at once gracious and glorious workings of God himself.
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