Using language ‘as a battering-ram’ criciticised by Archbishop

In Easter address, Most Rev Michael Jackson says gospel can help people who are struggling

The Most Rev. Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin who gave an Easter address at Christ Church Cathedral today, pictured with  Bishop Elect of Meath and Kildare, Leslie Stevenson. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill / THE IRISH TIMES

The Most Rev. Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin who gave an Easter address at Christ Church Cathedral today, pictured with Bishop Elect of Meath and Kildare, Leslie Stevenson. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times Photographer: Dara Mac Donaill / THE IRISH TIMES

Sun, Apr 20, 2014, 19:17

Being a Christian today is about what it has always been, “service and leadership”, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev Michael Jackson has said.

“These are qualities and characteristics that cannot exist independent of one another. They need to work together if we are to be healthy people and healthy communities. They make sense as mirror images and as two sides of the one coin. Their relationship is instinctive,” he said in an Easter message.

In a sermon at Christ Church Cathedral, he said “the gospel writers are helpful to us as we struggle in our own lives and hearts to deal with grief and violence, loss of life and the new freedom that such loss brings in its train, slow though we may be to see it.

“For individuals and for societies it is not something automatic nor can it be. Just look at Rwanda, just look at Anfield and Hillsborough along with lots of other tearing and torn human situations.”

Too often, he said “ we use the language of difference as a battering-ram to prevent, to brutalize and to close down relationships. This flies in the face of the best of human endeavour and in the face of the positivity that we saw and enjoyed, for example, in the public expressions of friendship and respect between President Michael D Higgins and Queen Elizabeth, a bonding between our two nations for the whole world to see.”

In a homily at Mass in the Pro Cathedral today, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said: “One of our difficulties is that we do not have the sort of evidence about the resurrection that our modern mentality looks for in ascertaining what is fact. There are no direct witnesses to the moment of the resurrection.

“Our cultures tend to look for specific measurement of evidence and that we do not have. All we have is the evidence of witnesses and these witnesses are witnesses who, one might say, have a vested interest. They are the ones who recognise the resurrection in faith.”

He said “the risen Jesus speaks and touches and can be touched and eats. His presence is real but goes beyond and outside reality. Jesus is present, but he also vanishes. It is something that our science even today cannot categorise, but it is not for that reason unreal. The resurrection of Jesus is a new form of bodily existence.

“The resurrection takes Jesus into a form of life that goes beyond our world, but is not irrelevant to our world. Indeed it is an epochal event which changes human existence.”

In his Easter message Presbyterian Moderator Dr Rob Craig said “it is no accident or coincidence that it was at dawn on the first day of the week that the women made their way to the tomb of Jesus. It is, surely, profoundly symbolic that, as the sun was rising and a new day was beginning, a new world was dawning with the news that the grave is empty and that Jesus is risen.

“Of course, like the slow and gradual dawn of our northern skies it took time for these women, and the other disciples, to digest the many implications of the resurrection of Jesus. They could no longer look at life and death in the same way. The empty tomb proved to be their place of transformation as it transformed their understanding of Jesus.”

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