Monday 23 January 2017

The common ground of the Easter Proclamation and the 1916 Rising

The Easter message and the spirit of the centenary of the 1916 Rising both celebrate fraternity and compassion for one's fellow man, says Bishop Brendan Leahy

Bishop Brendan Leahy

Published 05/04/2015 | 02:30

1913 GALWAY OIREACHTAS: A photograph taken in 1913 outide the Town Hall in Galway, that includes half the signatories of the 1916 proclamation as well three future Presidents of Ireland; Padraig Pearse, Seán Mac Diarmada, Eamonn Ceannt, Douglas Hyde, Seán T. O’Kelly, Eamon de Valera and Padraic O Conaire
1913 GALWAY OIREACHTAS: A photograph taken in 1913 outide the Town Hall in Galway, that includes half the signatories of the 1916 proclamation as well three future Presidents of Ireland; Padraig Pearse, Seán Mac Diarmada, Eamonn Ceannt, Douglas Hyde, Seán T. O’Kelly, Eamon de Valera and Padraic O Conaire

This time next year we will be celebrating the 1916 Rising. We call it the "Easter" rising. It's worth exploring what it means to find the Easter motif at the very heart of our State's story.

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One thing is clear in the Bible about Easter and it's that Jesus Christ, the God-man, died and rose again for all people. Every human being is lovingly created by God. So the first ray that shines out from Easter morning's dawn is that God loves others, regardless of their beliefs, as much as me. Jesus has risen for everyone in Ireland too! - believers, non-believers, half believers, people of completely different political and other views.

One of the greatest joys of Christians should be their confidence that Jesus is walking alongside all people, even if they can't yet recognise Him. Cardinal Dolan of New York, on pilgrimage in the Holy Land, asked if he could visit Emmaus, the place where, on Easter Sunday, the two disciples encountered the Risen Christ. The Cardinal was told no one knew where it actually was. His Franciscan guide said "maybe that's part of God's plan, because we can make every journey a walk down the road to Emmaus". Cardinal Dolan was happy because that meant every street in New York could be where we could meet the Risen Jesus on our way. He is to be met too in the highways and byways in Ireland.

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