The Most Reverend Dr Robin Eames,
Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland
A Vision for the Future
The Christian message of Easter is the news of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a message of triumph of good over evil, love over hatred, joy over sorrow and light over darkness. It is also a message of supreme confidence: that confidence which comes from the knowledge that God reigns in this world of doubt, frustration, inequality and injustice. That is the certainty of the Christian faith for Easter morning. Because of it, those who follow Christ are the 'Easter people'.
This Easter the Christian message is proclaimed to an Ireland which knows the uncertainty and doubts of an island which is struggling to find a vision for its future. People throughout the length and breadth of Ireland long for peace and security. They long to see an end to violence and division. They yearn for political progress towards stability. They have made their voices heard in support of lasting peace. They call again on all involved in the political process to find the path of courage, openness and progress. Dialogue between the political parties leading to agreement which will reflect and respect our difference is beckoning and demanding a response. The prayers of so many hearts and minds this Easter will be for a peaceful future.
The tragedy is that virtually all of us in Ireland claim to be followers of Christ - and yet our divisions of politics, political aspirations and community labels divide us. We have yet to discover that basic Christianity is more important than sectional interest and that our belief in Christ is a belief in the Great Healer. In many instances Ireland is changing in remarkable ways. The real question is: how long until our attitudes to each other, our attitude to change and our willingness to move forward in understanding each other catch up with the reality of experience? It is not Christianity in Ireland which is on trial this Easter - it is the individual lives of those who claim to be Christians.
Let our prayer and resolve this Easter be that we can put the darkness of our past behind us once and for all and together reach out into a future of peace in which the possibilities can surpass anything we have yet known.
That must be the message of certainty we all can find in the Risen Christ this Easter.