Go mbeannaí Dia dhaoibh...
And a Happy Easter to you all.
I was thinking about that usual greeting to each other when this season comes round: Happy Easter! Cáisg Shona!
In the light of the year we’ve been through... and are still going through, does it sound out of place somehow?
And yet, we are an Easter people... fundamentally and in all circumstances... that is who we are as Christians, and what we are called to be.
For the past week we’ve been remembering and re-living the passion and the death of Jesus... the horror of it all, the betrayal, desertion, downright injustice, the cowardice, the violence this most just and compassionate of men was subjected to: we fixed our gaze on the cruelty and inhumanity of which we, people, are capable. How vital it is to do this. Look evil in the eye...
But, no more that in our own year of cruel loss and anxiety, the story of Holy Week is also the story of Veronica and her towel, Simon of Cyrene, the three Marys still standing with the Crucified on Calvary along with John, the beloved disciple, and the good thief, and Joseph of Arimathea...
We have seen many, many such Marys, Veronicas, Josephs and Simons this past year...
For we are an Easter people.
‘Crisis is opportunity’ the saying goes. It is, and it was, this past year. That matters. Not just the crisis, but the opportunity, taken up so generously by so many – in fact, by all who took up the very real cross that Covid brought to our lives.
‘If Christ is not risen’, St Paul wrote to his beloved Corinthians, ‘your faith is futile, our proclamation in vain’.
We have seen him risen all over the place this past year, and we are grateful, and looking again, our hope is renewed.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing, the Lord says through the prophet Isaiah,
now it emerges,
do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19)
New life, new possibility, a new way...even now when we are so weary of it all.
May we be part of that new thing, truly an Easter people, for our hope is not in vain, and it never will be.
That surely makes for a happy Easter!
Beannachtaí seo na Cásga go bhfeicfimíd ar fad.