Easter Message 2019
Easter is a time when many contrasts are seen and experienced.
It’s a time for the light and warmth of Spring that we have been experiencing these past days to emerge from the darkness and cold of Winter.
It’s a time of energetic new life in nature and landscape after the sleep and hibernation of recent months.
The magnificent colour of the pink cherry blossoms give way to the yellows, the reds and the variety of tulips and many other bright Spring flowers, foliage and fresh leaves bursting forth.
It’s a time of new beginnings and Spring cleaning to brush away the decayed remains of the harvest and of a Winter season that is now past and gone.
A Paschal Celebration
Religiously, it’s a celebration of Passover, Paschal Mystery and Salvation and the sadness and loss of Good Friday giving way to the joy and delight of the Resurrection.
Faith in Action
It’s a time when our faith seeking expression and action challenges us to ensure that people around us are cared and minded. That we create a world where justice, fairness and equality are the common currency of our society.
Washing of the Feet!
Our faith challenges us to wash each other’s feet, so to speak like Jesus at the last supper, to care for the needy, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the addicted, the bereaved.
It’s a time for us too to wipe the face of the other, like Veronica did to Jesus on the Via Dolorosa.
Simon of Cyrene!
It’s a time when we are enthused to give that lending hand like Simon of Cyrene on the way to Calvary. It’s a time when we are encouraged to stand up for our principles, to defend our beliefs even if it goes against the tide or current trends and popular culture.
Cross of Notre Dame
One very special image has been to the fore of my mind right through this Holy Week of 2019. It’s the image of the fire of the great Cathedral of Our Lady in Paris, Notre Dame. The flames, the destruction, the smoke damage, the collapse of the magnificent spire, but above all that – arising out of the smoke and dust – the gold cross of Jesus Christ above the main altar. Despite the infernal heat and destruction – the cross remained untarnished and unharmed.
The Weapon of the Cross
The victorious weapon of Cross of Jesus Christ, that we read about in yesterday’s Holy Saturday Office of Readings is the source of our redemption, our salvation, our faith, our hope, our life!
Despite the prevalence of many crosses and profound challenges in all our lives – at this time of the year we learn afresh that we are an Easter people, people of hope, people of faith and courage and strength and belief and most of all people of profound joy!
In the words of the title of the recent letter of Pope Francis, Christus Vivit, Christ is alive!
Tá Mac na hÓighe slán!
Christ has risen as he said he would!
May Easter wrap its loveliness around your heart.
And may the full significance of the Resurrection dawn on you,
as bright and beautiful as the eternal spring…
And whenever dark hours come,
may the remembrance of the Resurrection
shine through the darkness and light your way with faith.
And lift the clouds from your heart,
as the stone was lifted from the tomb on that first Easter day!