In this week’s blog Fr Paddy writes that our Easter gift is in recognising that Christ is alive and living in the bits and pieces of our daily lives.

Fr Paddy Byrne has a weekly column in the Nationalist Papers.

This column appeared in the edition published 13th April 2010

Our recent Dawn Mass, on Easter Sunday, was an occasion of great hope. I felt enthused and truly alive, as faith was shared and celebrated, with so many others who rose early and braved the cold to welcome the glorious dawn. One car from Co. Offaly arrived at 2:30 am. An elderly couple had found the Nine Stones area, where the Mass was to be celebrated. They looked tired and weary after their journey and lack of sleep. I suggested to them that they should remain in their car, cover themselves with a duvet and get some sleep. The night and dawn continued, a wonderful celebration was had by all, but I forgot all about the elderly couple. After the mass people talked and celebrated their joy. Flasks of tea and even whiskey were shared and slowly the crowd began to descend back home to the familiar. Eventually I recognized the Offaly car, still parked, windows frozen over. I went over, tapped the door, to be greeted by a couple who had slept the night under the duvet. I told them the news that all was over. Disappointed, they decided to go back home, but promised that they would return back next year!

Our spirituality and personal faith is truly alive. This is a sacred and precious gift, where we are nurtured and sustained. There is in all our lives a deep yearning. This desire can ultimately be fulfilled by a Greater Good that brings in its presence, fulfillment and peace. The Dawn Mass reached out to our Spirit of worship and faith and reminds me that we are all companions on the same journey. Many young people attended this early morning pilgrimage and their presence added greatly to the vibrant enthusiasm of the occasion. This was fresh, informal, communal and inclusive. A local group of people co-ordinated every aspect of the event. Groups such as Civil Defence, Scouts and Gardai gave generously in sharing their expertise and in ensuring everyone was safe and cared for. Local people facilitated traffic management, bus drivers gave freely of their time and allowed so many others come to the mountain.

This is the Easter message. It is how our local Church is so very strong and the model of Church that we all need to grow towards. Great things happen when we fuse our creativity with the generosity of good people. The Lord’s risen grace is here in abundance. This is surely a time when we all need to be renewed. Renewal is about being open to new possibilities. There is something routine and even stale if we always expect the same, even from the Lord!

Ours is a God who can so often surprise us. The challenge is to recognise him in the beauty of all our lives. The Disciples struggled greatly, even after the resurrection to see Jesus as the Christ. This is our Easter gift. Christ is Alive and living in the bits and pieces of our daily lives. This is a new time, light has brightened our way. Breathe the resurrection into all our hearts,

Taste and see that the Lord is good