Easter Sunday Homily of Bishop Fintan for Clare FM Mass

Easter Sunday Morning Mass Clare FM 2021

Paschal Mystery – Pasch
The last week with Holy Week and the last 3 days with the celebration of the Triduum we have had and intense few days of celebrating and commemorating the core of our faith, the Paschal Mystery of the Life, Death and today the Resurrection of Jesus.
Prior to that we had the long Journey or Lent, being in the Desert, the Wilderness, the 40 days of symbolic Sacrifice in whatever Lenten disciplines we might have chosen to take on. Thank God after that time of spiritual training that is all over and we move into another mode of joy and celebration!

Many have remarked that the past year of pandemic has been one prolonged Winter of Sacrifice and that instead of us doing Lent this challenging time has visited Lent on us whether we have liked it or not!

Changing Gear!
Last night, however and today, despite all of that we have a radical shift in gear spiritually to the mode of joy, gladness and delight of the Resurrection and 6 weeks of celebration with the season of Eastertide until Ascension and Pentecost!

Thiessen Gallery – David Friedrich – 3 Marys
A few years ago while on a visit to Madrid I saw a painting in the Thiesen Gallery that I have since found a huge help in contemplating the enormity and delight of what we celebrate this morning. The Painting was by a German called David Friedrich and it was simply called the 3 Mary’s go to the Tomb on Easter morning.

Description of the Painting
It’s a depiction of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary of Magdala and Mary of Cloapas on the road from home to the tomb where they were going to anoint the body of Jesus.
The scene is shrouded in darkness but there is a hint that the sun is about to shine forth in light and brightness.
It is early Spring, but the buds on the trees are about to burst into bloom.
The women are sad and downcast but almost like a Hitchcock film, while not seeing it we get more than a hint that from the profound sadness and bereavement they are coming from – very good news is in store for them! The joy of the Resurrection. Jesus has miraculously risen from the dead!

Lenten talk on Joy
We had a diocesan webinar recently on Holy Week with the Augustinian scripture scholar Fr. Kieran O’Mahony and posed an important question “Why as Christians are we not more people of Joy!”. It was a good and valid question. It’s a question that has intrigued me often. I think it is just a case that we in Ireland simply don’t do joy as well as we do sadness! I’m not sure why? I have some theories and perhaps you do too, but that’s for another day…

St. Thomas More
I have always impressed with the joyful comment of St. Thomas More in his final letter from prison to his daughter as he awaited his execution! “Farewell my dear child and pray for me, and I shall for you and all your friends that we may merrily meet in heaven”. The hope and genuine joy that only faith can offer!

Easter a time of Joy and Celebration
Today is a day of celebration and joy and hope and courage and faith and delight. Why not let it in? It’s worth exploring and trying and if this welcome shaft of light can permeate through the cracks of darkness, I believe it can make a concrete and real difference to the happiness, contentment, calmness and serenity of our lives.

Jesus may be dead in the eyes of the world, to the non-believer, but my prayer today is the hope that he would be very much alive in our hearts and in everything we do and say.
We are Easter people. The Lord has risen as he said he would. May the joy of that be yours this Easter day and always!