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Commemorating shouldn’t consist just in looking back

By Sarah Mac Donald - 27 March, 2016

"The authors of the 1916 Proclamation were men of faith who dreamed dreams of hope for Ireland and for the Irish people," Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Pic John Mc Elroy.

Pic John Mc Elroy.

The authors of the 1916 Proclamation were men of faith who dreamed dreams of hope for Ireland and for the Irish people, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said on Saturday evening in his Easter vigil homily.

But the leader of the Church in Dublin, where major events are underway today to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising said, “celebrating and commemorating should not consist just in looking back”.

He said the believer in the Risen Christ should be focused towards the future.

They should be in the forefront in combating the “signs of darkness and despair that exist all around us and in working with all people of goodwill who dream” 0f  “building a more compassionate, caring and just society”.

Archbishop Martin said Christians are called to speak the language of resurrection and hope within the society they live in.

“Christians are called to build a society where hope can flourish,” he said and added, “This is a call especially in these days here in Ireland as we celebrate and commemorate the events of 1916.”

He prayed for all those for whom darkness seems impossible to overcome, for whom darkness seems unbearable and without hope.

“We remember those who grieve. We remember those who feel abandoned. We remember those for whom the darkness of their own past haunts them. We remember those whose torment and anxiety tears away at their will even to live.”

A Christian community is called to be a light in the world, he said. “We are called to be with those for whom darkness is excruciating and who see no future, no hope.”

“Wherever we encounter darkness, the Christian must speak words of resurrection, words which say to each of us in the darkness of our hearts, that life and light are possible.”

“Woe to a Church which with harsh words would hide or destroy or dim the light in people’s hearts.  Woe to a Church which would prevent the light of Christ from appearing as it should.”

Archbishop Martin confirmed two new members of the Church at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral on Saturday night.

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