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Sermon for 20 April 2014



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.

Pope Benedict Emeritus expressed in a wonderful way the reality of the eternal life of heaven. Remember at the late Blessed John Paul's funeral Mass he told us that surely John Paul was looking down on us from "his window in heaven" and blessing us. 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 saying 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. The Pope Francis only said last week that following the ten Commandments is the way to holiness and Heaven, 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? Sometimes our children suffer the fate of chaos in the home and no real love and so find themselves in a mess with life.

So Easter brings new hope. The death of the Saviour in the most cruel manner 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 and the Beatific Vision? 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 teachers and priests and nuns and friends. We will all see one another face to face and take it all in a moment of the eternal NOW! Evil will be no more and the Devil and his Legions 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. 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 and Father George.

THANK YOU to all the Servers, Ministers, 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 681 1410.

ST BERNARD'S BURNAGE. Mrs Fiona Maguire of St Edward’s Parish has been appointed as Head. Well done.


Bidding Prayers

Bidding Easter 6a

Priest. Let us pray to Christ, who rose from the dead to restore our life.

Reader: Jesus, you are the stone rejected by the builders but you have proved to be the chief cornerstone of God's House; make us living stones in the temple of your church. Lord in your mercy.

You are the faithful and true witness, the first born from the dead- may your Church never cease to proclaim you to the world. Lord in your mercy. Through your death and resurrection you took the Church to be your Bride - cherish her and love her and keep her faithful and prepare us for the day of your coming. Lord in your mercy.

You are the first and the last, you were dead and in the tomb and now you are alive, never to die again - may all the baptised be faithful unto death and gain the crown of eternal life. Lord in your mercy.

In your earthly ministry you healed the sick with your word- heal those who have fallen ill: Mary Gallagher Marie Hopkins, Denis McLoughlin, John Lawson, Brenda Brady, Chris O'Malley, Mary Fitzpatrick, Brendan Byrne, Mary Tivnan and all our sick. Lord in your mercy.

Christ our Lord is the light and joy of the city of God, shine on the faithful departed that they may reign with you forever, Alan Mariot and Michael Sweeney AND for all those whose anniversaries occur about this time: Elizabeth Coughlin and Christiane Coughlin (VIGIL), Afram Zaer, Marjorie and Patrick Garrett, James Radcliffe, Maureen Waring (11.30 Saturday 26th), Deceased Members of Collins and Graoke Families, Margaret Creaven, Joseph Clooney, Paddy Quinn, Michael and Annie Quinn, Frances McGonigle, Imelda Mullens. MAY THEIR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED THROUGH THE MERCY OF GOD REST IN PEACE. AMEN

Mary - Mother inviolate Queen of the Apostles - O Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...

Priest: Almighty and ever living God, bring us to the joy of your heavenly city, so that we, your beloved little flock, may follow Christ, our Risen Lord who is our way and our life. We ask through the same Christ our Lord. Amen