Does it seem as if Holy Week and Easter have passed you by this year? They may indeed have done so due to the long and dreary winter and bitter early spring. weather. The seasons brought plenty of illness and lately, the merest hint of better times ahead can be seen in nature. Thank God for the brave daffodils and other flowers who remind us that there is beauty to be found even in frozen gardens. Holy Week and Easter may have passed us by as nowadays this time is generally seen as holiday time rather than the serious reflective time of yesteryear when it was a significant event. Pubs will open on Good Friday, a day now marked out for merriment rather than a day when we honour Jesus Christ our Saviour who suffered terribly and died an agonisingly horrific death nailed to a Cross.
The secularisation of Irish society means, that in the future, the significance of Holy Week and Easter will be further eroded unless we as Christians keep the Gospel message of hope alive as a worshipping Christian community. Society will not support our Christian beliefs but push them as afar as possible to the margins, dismissing them as being irrelevant and hopelessly out of date. As I write this, I notice on the table nearby the funeral arrangements for two parishioners. What has a secular society to say to those who mourn? What hope can be given outside the Gospel message to someone with an incurable illness? What about a young person who feels that they cannot live up to the demands to look good and be always on trend? What will give the young hope, a value system, security and a sense of self-worth?
The Easter message is that in the midst of our struggles and burdens, we have a sure hope in the person and message of Jesus Christ. Let us not allow an indifferent secular society to rob us of our Christian virtues of faith, hope and love. I wish you lives filled with that blessed hope.
May Easter joy fill your hearts and homes this Easter and always.
A blessed and happy Easter.
Fr. Robert Brophy.

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