We have all been shocked by the reality of death in recent days and weeks: tragic accidents; the litany of murders that so often feature in our news bulletins; the loss of life in terrorist attacks.
Accidents cause deep sorrow and grief. However, when life is ended deliberately and brutally, the shock is greater and the pain more harrowing, for God’s great gift of life is disregarded as if it were of little value.
At this precise moment, the Church celebrates the gift of life and peace that came with the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. To the women who came to the tomb, very early on Easter Sunday morning, the first day of the week, two angels in dazzling apparel said: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Lk 24:5). Those words proclaim the triumph of life over death, of hope over despair, of joy over sorrow and grief.
The many candles lit in our cathedrals and churches all over the world at the Easter vigil, proclaimed that the light which shines from Christ’s Resurrection banishes all darkness, and gives light and hope to our hearts. “Rejoice, O Mother Church, the risen Saviour shines upon you… This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave”.
His greeting to those who saw him was: “Peace be with you”. Peace was his Easter gift. The Risen Lord brings peace, life and joy to a broken world.
May he give you all a generous share in his life and peace, so that whatever difficulties and sorrows you have, you may find a solution and healing in his Resurrection. May he give you his peace.
+ Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444