Have we anything to celebrate today? YES, just look at some of the stories we have already been hearing about in conversations, in the newspapers, at events.
We have been reminded of many good news stories already this year especially of religious who have responded to God’s call and followed him.
We have heard stories of the 10th Alpha series run in Gasthule run by the Presentation Brothers. We heard from Brother Martin Bennett OFM Cap how school chaplains have been key to the protection of students’mental health and of the development of his pioneering programme PATHS – Positive Approaches to health study.
This year’s Divine Mercy Conference highlighted the theme of mercy through inspirational speakers such as Fr Bernard McGuskian S.J. and a beautiful healing service conducted by Fr Eunan McDonnell SDB.
The Disciples of the Divine Master an international Congregation celebrated 25 years of presence, prayer and hospitality this year. While the Medical Missionaries of Mary another International Congregation celebrated their 80th anniversary of their foundation while continuing to work among those caught up in world conflicts. The Vincentian family of priests, brothers, sisters and laity will celebrate their 400th celebration of the Vincentian Spirit this year. They continue to minister to the poor, the fragile, the homeless, the sick, and are not afraid to Proclaim the Gospel of Reconciliation and Good News.
Many Irish congregations still continue to send sisters, priests and brothers to help in areas of conflict such as South Sudan. Only this year our President Michael D. Higgins met with some of our Irish Missionaries based in Peru from such congregations as the Loreto Sisters, Christian Brothers, and Columban Missionaries.
We have heard much about the ministry from the Capuchin’s day centre in Dublin, and the work of Sr Stan, the work of the OFM among those suffering from addiction.
The Vincentian family will celebrate their 400th anniversary this year while still ministering to the poor, the sick, the vulnerable while still proudly Proclaiming the Gospel of Reconciliation and Good News.
Fr Paddy Moran a Spiritan has also shared his story this year of his ministry in Ethiopia. Paddy is a Vocation Director replacing Fr Brendan Foley who will return to mission in Brazil later in the year.
This is just a snippet of so many celebrations and good news stories but it is good to remind ourselves of what we hear or experience and give thanks for them.
We will be celebrating the most important Good News Story this week-end as we now enter the Easter Triduum. This is one of the most important Feasts in the Church, the Resurrection of Jesus, triumphing life over death proclaiming the message of peace. This message is so important for today in a world torn by conflict but it is a message of Hope.
Pope Francis invites the Church throughout the world to listen to the echoes of the angel’s message to the women: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised… Come, see the place where he lay” ( Mt 28:5-6). Francis tells us
“This is why we tell everyone: “Come and see!” In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… “Come and see!”: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.
With this joyful certainty in our hearts, today we turn to you, risen Lord!”
Those who have answered God’s call are living testimonies of that unconditional and faithful love.
prayerful ministering celebrating Jesus is the Lamb of God
Vocations Ireland wishes everyone a very blessed and happy Easter