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April 24, 2024
April 24, 2024

Easter message: cancel the ‘noises’ to hear God’s Word


Bishop Francis Alleyne’s OSB Easter wish to all, including himself, is that faithful don their metaphorical earbuds with a deliberate intention to hear and attend to God’s Word without static or interruption, and to grow in His ways — ways that will counter and cancel out the “noises” of the world.

In his Easter message via The Catholic Standard, the bishop of Georgetown shared he was recently gifted a pair of noise-cancelling earbuds, a new listening device that is “most welcomed” as his Brickdam location is often bombarded with the noise of traffic, car horns, sirens, motorcycles, weeding machines etc.

This new acquisition, he said, made him think of other “noises” —not the audible, but the metaphorical: the hype, the buzz, and the intrigue of world events, social media, the economy, politics, entertainment, parties and other stimuli that vie for our attention and claim to give identity and belonging.

Bishop Alleyne referred to the Gospel of St Luke 9:51 in which Jesus resolutely took the road to Jerusalem. Just prior to that Jesus reprimands His disciples for arguing among themselves about who is the greatest (Lk 9:46) – “the noise of power and position.”

He said just after that Jesus rebukes them because they want God to annihilate some Samaritans who would not let them pass through their territory (Lk 9:54) – the “noise” of prejudice and ethnic tension.

“A little further on we hear the interaction between Jesus and three persons about following Him (Lk 9:57–62) – the ‘noise’ of certain expectations or pressure to conform to custom or tradition clouding their freedom to follow Jesus,” Bishop Alleyne said. He emphasised that in the midst of and in spite of these “noises”, Jesus is resolute and hears and responds to the Father’s will.

“In the Gospel accounts, particularly those we were offered during Holy Week, Jesus is able to cancel the ‘noises’ of betrayal, intimidation, insult, rejection, and states clearly ‘I am a King. I was born for this, I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice,’” (Jn 18:37) the bishop commented.

He stressed if only “other ways” could be sought in the face of the “noise” of conflict in many situations in the world today.

Our Easter season, Bishop Alleyne said, is not only about the event of Jesus rising from the dead but also about faithfully living the Gospel so as to give rise to Jesus in our lives and in the world.

Bishop Alleyne outlined living with integrity counters corruption; being forgiving cancels resentment and anger; living in service, communion and accompaniment with others leaves little room for jealousy and prejudice; living in gratitude, especially for all God has given us, dispels the tendency for greed and possessiveness; living for peace and compassion can quell the stirrings to be judgmental.

“This is what I wish for us all in the words: Happy and Blessed Easter,” the bishop said.