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Sermon for 5 April 2015

EASTER SUNDAY + 5th April 2015.


My Dear People,

A blessed and Holy Easter to you all,

What a lot we have experienced in the lead up to this Great Feast:

On Holy Thursday we commemorated the tremendous gift Jesus Christ gave us in the First Offering of the Mass. In a way it was also the institution of the Sacred Priesthood for Jesus commissioned then the Apostles to "Do this in commemoration of me". We have done so and will do so in Cathedrals and shrines to Prison Camps until he comes again for the Second Time. The Bishop heard us priests renew our promises of priestly service in the Cathedral that morning and sent us away with the new Holy Oils. We watched the altar being stripped just like our Lord was stripped and beaten and then we kept watch before the Altar of Repose until late on. "Can you not watch one hour with me."

On Good Friday we witnessed our school children enacting the Stations of the Cross in a wonderful manner. At Three O'Clock we heard the Lord Passion and death and kissed his feet and prayed for the whole world.

On Holy Saturday we watched at the Lord's Tomb but today, we rejoice in His Glorious Resurrection. The Easter fire is blest, the new Paschal Candle is shining, the altar looks glorious,, the Hymn to the Risen Christ "Exultet" is sung by the Priest and all renew their Baptismal Promises and all are filled with joy - Easter Joy. Christ has conquered - the Vanquisher of Death has opened up the Gates of Heaven for us.

This feast is the Feast of all Feasts and the culminating festival of the whole liturgical year. The Church calls the Easter Vigil - "the Mother of Vigils." The Church awaited the Resurrection of her Lord from the grave and celebrated it with the celebration of the life giving sacraments. The wonderful thing about all this is that He, Our Lord, is with us now just as he was with the Apostles after the Ascension. He taught them that there would be a time when he was taken away (his arrest and death) but - he added - after a short time I shall return. He did, in the Easter Morning appearances to the holy women and to Peter and John and the rest of the assembly in the Upper Room.

However he then prepares them for his new going away. He ascended into Heaven. However he also had told the apostles that he would be with them until the end of Time. This going will be necessary if he is to bestow the Holy Spirit on the Church. Although the apostles were sad at this they would have Jesus with them in a new and universal way after Pentecost.

Christ is now with and in His Church and with us in his life saving Sacraments - all Seven of them. He is with his Church in the Ministry of the Priesthood. He is in his Church in the covenanted love of spouses; in the Consecrated life; in the Forgiveness of sins and in the Laying on of Hands and anointing of the Sick. He is present now on Easter Day in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. It is not a spirit we receive but the very risen and glorified Body of Christ himself who has remained with us throughout the ages and will do so until the end of time. His Sacrifice is an eternal NOW. Pope John XXIII , now Saint John XXIII) ordered the Blessed Sacrament to be brought to his death-bed so that he could see Jesus as soon as he had given his last breath – such is the reality of the Risen Lord.

On this great Feast of Easter we give thanks for the intimacy and love of our Lord. He would not get much closer to us than to become the Pascal lamb could he? How much closer can he get to us than to enter into our souls and bodies in the Blessed Sacrament and to become our Food for the Soul and our Offering - the Oblation to take away sin?

Thanks is due to the servers and choir, Readers and cleaners and sacristan and climbers of ladders and instrumentalists and flower arrangers and fire arrangers and statue Coverers, Printers of Bulletins and Typists - all of whom have worked so hard in making the church look truly beautiful for the Resurrection.

May we all share the Easter joy. I join Father George in wishing you all a very happy and blessed Easter.

He is Risen - never to die again !!

Father Tom Connolly

EASTER WATER - The Water blest at the Vigil is especially powerful for symbolically our Lord's Body was lowered into it. Do take some home with you and sprinkle your home and little ones with it and sick ones. Take it from the containers around the Baptismal Font near the right hand side of the High Altar.

EXPOSITION: No Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Easter Week for many are away.

PRO LIFE NEWS - Well done to the Forty Days Watchers outside the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic. The FORTY DAYS silent witness throughout the nation has got under the skin of the Pro Abortion pundits you know - big time.

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 and we commend our persecuted brethren in the Middle East and Pakistan. 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: Agnes Halligan, Lord in your mercy.

Christ our Risen Lord, you overcame death – give eternal light to those who have died AND for those whose anniversaries fall now.

Mary shared her Son's 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.