Easter 2015 Message from Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor

02 Apr 2015

“Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes forever!” (Easter Proclamation – Exultet)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

These words, taken from the Easter Proclamation, announce the transforming and transfiguring power of the risen Christ. In this season of Easter, we are invited to contemplate the light of Christ, a light that brings hope in darkness, a light that reveals the radiance and dignity of the human person, a light that conquers sin, a light that casts out fear, a light kindled within us on the day of our Baptism. Illuminated by Christ, we become a new creation, temples and bearers of the Holy Spirit.

The light of the risen Christ continues to shine into the darkness of fear and violence, of death and despair. This light of Christ continues to shine in our world today! Through faith in the saving mystery of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection, our lives are continually filled with a real joy and a lasting sign of hope in a transient world.

On Sunday 12 April, the Feast of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis will solemnly announce a ‘Jubilee of Mercy’. This extraordinary Holy Year will be such a graced opportunity to embrace the tender mercy of God in word and sacrament, prayer, pilgrimage and mission. This Jubilee of Mercy is a welcome opportunity for the local Church and society, particularly in Ireland, to bring healing and reconciliation. Already, we are planning to mark this Jubilee with a number of events and initiatives throughout the Diocese.

In this present ‘Year of St. Columbanus’, we join with Christian sisters and brothers throughout the world in reflecting upon the words of Columbanus, the Irish saint who brought the light of faith into Europe at a time of great political and societal change. Columbanus, a saint for all seasons and generations, engenders within us a renewed sense of hope as sharers in the life and ministry of Christ by virtue of our common baptismal vocation and motivates us to acts of Christian charity and ecumenical dialogue.

“Give light to my lantern, my Jesus. Be pleased to show yourself to us who knock, that in knowing you we may love you, contemplate you night and day, and always think of you. May your love pervade our being, possess us completely, and fill our senses.”

(St Columbanus, Instr. XII, 3)

May the grace of the Easter season fill our hearts with faith in the risen Christ, hope in his tender mercy and love in the service of our neighbour.

Wishing you and all who are dear to you the blessings of Easter,

+ Noel Treanor
Bishop of Down and Connor