Bishop Denis Easter Message 2018


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Easter Sunday this year falls on April Fool’s Day. Days and dates are important to all of us. The world of time, calendar time, clock time – minutes, hours, days and years. And still we are conscious on Easter Sunday that we live somehow outside time, connected with people who have gone before us. It allows us to run alongside Mary of Magdala, Simon Peter and John to see the empty tomb. The one who was born in a borrowed stable, who held his Last Supper in a borrowed upper room and who was buried in a borrowed grave, that borrowed grave is now empty, he has Risen!


My late father used to comment that “Easter is early” or “Easter is late”. He was a farmer all his life and the timing of Easter seemed to affect the growing of crops, the tilling of the soil, very much all the work of our great creator God. But speaking of days or times, do we ever ask ourselves why is Easter early or late? Can we not just settle for the one date every year? We must go back to one of the great church councils in Nicea in 325AD, we find it was there the date on which Easter Sunday fell was determined. Easter Day is always the Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring equinox. The lunar calendar tells us this year the Spring Equinox fell on Tuesday 20 March at 4.15pm and the first full moon appears today, Easter Sunday at 1.36pm. Staying with days and dates, in 146 days-time we will welcome Pope Francis amongst us as part of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin. He will visit us to speak to all families about the blessings and the hurts that can be so much prevalent in family life today. Every family is different and everywhere Pope Francis travels, he reaches out to those on the margins, like lifting up that young boy Peter Lombardi with Down Syndrome at last Wednesdays Papal audience. Peter had battled leukaemia only to be lifted into the pope mobile to accompany the Pope on his tour around the crowded St. Peter’s Square.


When April Fool’s Day and Easter Sunday coincide, it is good to determine just who is the fool, the one crucified but who rose from the dead or those who tortured Him and had Him crucified? Easter lasts much longer than one day, Easter is a way of life, Easter is a way of living. Blessings on all our priests, religious, permanent deacons and parishioners who keep the message of the Risen One alive in all our parishes. May the Risen Christ walk with you in your joys and your pains this Easter Day.

+ Denis