Happy Easter. Our Easter Sunday this year is extraordinary. As we celebrate the most joyful mystery of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death, we live in a world overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic, causing a great gloom to gather over our towns, our cities and our countries. The crisis has taken over our lives, bringing sickness and death to many people, instigating unemployment and the cancellation of all social events, and filling everywhere with a cold emptiness. We find ourselves afraid and anxious.
And now we have Easter with the invitation for us to be glad and to rejoice because Jesus Christ our Saviour has risen from the dead and in doing so has brought us all to new life. The resurrection shows us that with God life never dies and that God always transforms to good everything that happens to us, even great catastrophes; in these very tragic times, may it awaken glimmers of hope for us.
Let us take hope too from the exemplary witness given by many people in our world today. Pope Francis recently expressed this very well in saying: “We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial... Life in the Spirit… demonstrates how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines…, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves…. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.”
Prayer is a key ministry of St. Patrick’s missionaries for you today. We are praying for you, our members, benefactors, supporters, friends and followers, that, like St. Patrick who believed that Jesus was present with him always, especially in times of trials, we may entrust our lives to the care of our compassionate loving Father, who raised his Son from the dead.
We pray for all who are sick that they may be healed; for those who have died that they may rest in peace; for those who are mourning that they may be consoled; and for doctors, nurses and health carers, that they may be strengthened in their service towards others. We pray that our caring Father through the Risen Christ may bring an end to this pandemic.
May you be embraced by the gentle presence of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ in your lives this Easter Season.
Fr Victor Dunne,