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Sermon for 31 March 2013

EASTER DAY 31st MARCH + 2013 C.


My Dear People,

First of all, a very happy and Blessed Easter to you all! He is Risen, never to die again. Jesus is Risen and has opened for us the gates of Heaven and taken us with him as his Mystical Body. We are all grafted onto him as a mistletoe is grafted onto an apple tree and we now live with his sap - his grace, his life, his newly risen life.

On Sixteenth April we commemorate the Election of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Throne of St Peter. He it was who expressed in a wonderful way the reality of the eternal life of heaven. Remember at the funeral Mass of John Paul II, he told us that surely John Paul was looking down on us from "his window in heaven" and blessing us. And now we have Pope Francis drawing us to never lose sight of the ultimate reality of the joy of inheriting Heaven with Jesus, Risen, never to die again. The utter reality of the life won for those who die in Christ is beyond compare. It is far better than we would ever have had without original sin. The Easter Exultet (in praise of the Risen Christ, symbolised by Paschal Candle light) actually says "O happy fault of Adam that warranted for us so great a Redeemer." That is a kind of "mad" way of say how wonderful the gift is in comparison to the loss.

There is no one who needs to exclude themselves from this great gift of eternal life. We have to qualify in this life to reach the last and final goal - Heaven, bliss and eternal life and joy in God. Our Lord has not made it difficult but we have to take it seriously and follow Jesus' rule of Life. The Moral Life is truly a code of conduct for the Christian which guarantees our working order and our freedom, and leads to happiness for ourselves and for others, and it works. A nation where the majority do not follow God is not a happy nation in itself. It finds that it is at odds within its very soul. In some ways our dear country suffers from that fate. Too many diverse versions of what constitutes goodness and truth. Without a broad common sharing of fundamental values it is hard to live in harmony even in a household never mind a nation eh? So Easter brings new hope. The death of the Saviour in the most cruel fashion shows man to himself as in a mirror and says "this O Man is what you did to your Creator and Redeemer and he still loves you and invites you to the feast of life and of eternal life in heaven."

Have you ever thought of the joy we will have with our Lord in Heaven when we will share in the General Resurrection? We will be able to talk to all the saints we have been devoted to on earth. We will see all those lovely people who have given us so much in this life like my mum and dad and those uncles and aunts and neighbours and friends. We will all see one another face to face and take it all in, in a moment of the eternal NOW! Evil will be no more and the devil will be vanquished forever - no more partings, no more diseases and frail years, no more tears or mourning...no falsehood. All those abortionists will be shown up and exposed and duly dealt with in God's perfect justice. No evil will prevail and all the warmongers and wrongdoers will be no more ever again. Christ will be all in all.

The Tomb is empty and Christ has gone before the apostles into Galilee and he will see them there. He appeared so many times after Easter Sunday and he showed them the marks of the nails and the lance to convince them that it was truly the One who was crucified and he still has those marks you know; like Padre St Pio had them. We shall see them too - the Holy Wounds we sang about on Good Friday. You know?? I can't wait!!

Happy Easter from

Father Tom Connolly

Father Sean O'Brien

Father George

Divine Mercy Sunday next Sunday. At St Edwards we will have the Chaplet and Prayers of the final day of the Divine Mercy which began on Good Friday and end it with Benediction at 4pm.

FR GEORGE next Sunday will offer Easter Mass for Syro-Malabar Rite at 11.45am AT ST EDWARDS. Thank you Father.

THANK YOU to all the Servers, Readers, Polishers, Cleaners, Rota makers, Sacristan duties, Flower arranger, Music Makers and Singers and all of you who worked so hard to make the Holy Week Ceremonies so edifying and sacred.

VOCATIONS THOUGHT: St Mary Magdalene first sought the Lord in the early hours of the morning. The prayers of holy Contemplatives remain the most powerful way of drawing people to discover the Risen Christ. We beg the Lord for courageous souls to undertake this role. If God is calling you, contact the Vocations Director Fr David Featherstone at 0161 681 1410


Bidding Prayers

Bidding Easter day

Priest: Let us pray to Christ, the author of life. The Father raised him from the dead, and he himself will raise us to life by his own power.

Reader; Christ, you are the light that drives out our darkness and draws humanity to holiness - let us make this day a living hymn of Easter praise. Lord in your mercy.

Lord, you followed the way of suffering, even to the cross, grant that we may come to die with you and come to life in you. Lord in your mercy.

Our Master and Brother, you have made us a Kingdom of Priests to serve God our Father - let us offer you with joy the Sacrifice of Praise in this Mass. Lord in your mercy.

King of glory we look forward to the Day of your second coming, then bring us all to see your face and share in your glory in heaven with the Eternal Father. Lord in your mercy.

Lord give courage to the sick that their hope might be to look on you in your triumph over death: Mary Tivnan, Agnes Halligan, Agnes Benson, Kathleen Burke, Maura McCormack, Ann Cronin, Michael Connolly, Frank Kavanagh, Mr Azicate, Phyllis King, Peggy Forkan, Sara McHale, Baby Remy Chin, Mick Cassidy. Lord in your mercy.

Christ our Risen Lord, you overcame death Ė give eternal light to those who have died: Ray Mackie, Baby Persayus Marie McDonnell, David Jones, Chris Keary, Martina Mitchell, Geraldine Mimnagh.

AND for those whose anniversaries fall now, Ann Radcliffe (Easter Vigil) Patrick and Marjorie Garrett, Afram Zaer.

Mary shared her Sonís triumph because she stood by him faithfully and shared the Cross - we salute our mother on this Easter Day of her Son's triumph. O Mary, Conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...

On this day Lord you opened for us the gates of Heaven - Listen to our heartfelt prayer. Through Christ our Risen Lord who liver forever and ever.