EASTER 2015 brings with it a time of hope and new beginnings. Signs of economic recovery and growing employment bring a recovery to our state that is warmly anticipated.
I was greatly overwhelmed throughout our Easter ceremonies by the huge numbers that participated and gave witness to their Christian faith. The reason behind this Easter season is indeed fuelled with great hope and light. Easter embraces new opportunity, with a confidence that boldly rejoices ‘All is possible, no matter what’, a sentiment mentioned on Palm Sunday by our new Pope Francis, when he encouraged Christians:, “Be confident, joyful and grateful – we are not alone: God is very near.”
Easter is a time of hope and new life, an opportunity to begin again in a new way. The angel said to the wounded followers of Jesus: “Why look among the living for the dead?”
Easter reminds us in a very powerful way that we belong to a place that is so much bigger than whatever situation we may find ourselves in. That place is about gentleness, hope, compassion and love. That sacred place is told through the eyes of faith. Faith is a necessary and wonderful gift. Faith will carry us up any mountain, no matter how overwhelming the climb may be. Faith brings with it a sense of perspective and a deep confidence that, no matter what, ‘all will be well’. Easter is about new possibilities and opportunities. Easter is rich in gifts and blessings. There is no recession in the Lord’s love. Where the shadows of bereavement, unemployment and sickness prevail, the Easter message contains a dawn that promises brighter days ahead.
Mountains play a huge part in our faith story. Mountains in the Old Testament were sacred places where the creator often communicated to holy people and revealed how best to live life by giving Moses the Ten Commandments. Jesus himself loved mountains; he often spent long periods of time on the mountain, where he felt close to his father, consumed by the beauty and peace that is given from a mountain view.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount contains the essential ingredients that make us a holy people called to do great things in all our lives. It was on a mountain where the first followers of Christ witnessed him transfigured. The mountain was also the place where the first followers of Jesus were commissioned to spread the good news, that all who believe in Christ will be surrounded by his love and peace.
Easter equips us with Christ’s spirit of resurrection. This energy is both awesome and powerful and allows us ‘to climb every mountain’.
Hope is witnessed in so many places familiar to us all; loving parents, enthusiastic young people, our wise elders and countless volunteers responding generously to so many needs. The significant contribution to the Trócaire national appeal highlights the generosity and selflessness of the Irish people.
Next Easter, significant celebrations will mark the centenary of our founding fathers of our republic. Joseph Mary Plunkett, mixing beautiful imagery to a rich spirituality, sums up our Easter hope.
I see his blood upon the rose,
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds,
Are but his voice and carven by his power,
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.