There is a very different mood and reality this Easter, a difficult time for many people. Easter reminds us in a very powerful way that we belong to a place that is so much bigger than whatever situation we may find ourselves in.

mountleinsterdawn

Fr Paddy Byrne has a weekly column in the Nationalist.

This column appeared on 8 April 2009

Mountains play a huge part in our faith story. Mountains in the Old Testament were sacred places where the creator often communicated to holy people and revealed how best to live life by giving Moses the Ten Commandments. Jesus himself loved Mountains, he often spent long periods of time on the Mountain, where he felt close to his father, consumed by the beauty and peace that is given from a mountain view. Jesus Sermon on the Mount contains the essential ingredients that make us a holy people called to do great things in all our lives. It was on a mountain where the first followers of Christ witnessed him transfigured. The mountain was also the place where the first followers of Jesus were commissioned to spread good news, that all who believe in Christ will be surrounded by his love and peace.

These days are very difficult for so many people. Mountains of unemployment, sickness, uncertainty, anxiety and fear have to be climbed by too many in all our localities. This climb often is not a voluntary one. Gentle and prosperous pathways have been replayed by rugged mountains where all the resilience and energy of the human spirit is necessary in order to take that important, one step at a time. There is a very different mood and reality this Easter. For this very Reason we must take on board the free gift, that is life giving contained in the message of this important story we ate about to celebrate. Jesus Christ is Risen. His Mountain of suffering and pain has been transformed to the calm and peace that is so often associated with the views that come from a mountain top.
Easter is a time of hope and new life an opportunity to begin again in a new way. The Angel said to the wounded followers of Jesus “Why Look among the living for the dead” Easter reminds us in a very powerful way that we belong to a place that is so much bigger than whatever situation we may find ourselves in. That Place is about gentleness, hope, love, compassion and love. That sacred place is told through the eyes of faith. Faith is a necessary and wonderful gift. Faith will carry us up any mountain, no matter how overwhelming the climb maybe. Faith brings with it a sense of perspective and a deep that confidence that all will be well. Easter is about new possibilities and opportunities. Easter is rich in gifts and blessings. There is no recession in the Lords love. Where the shadows of bereavement, unemployment, sickness prevail the Easter message contains a dawn that promises brighter days ahead.
For this Reason this Easter Sunday Morning a special Dawn Mass will be celebrated on Mount Leister. The Dawn Mass will be celebrated at 6am as we welcome the new life that comes with Easter day. The Mass will be celebrated in the car park area of the Nine Stones. This could perhaps for you be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with hope, a God whose resurrection will anoint us with healing and peace.