The question of the date of Easter changing from year to year is often raised. It should not detract from the central fact of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

In a parish especially, Holy Week can be tiring- Palm Sunday, penitential service/s, visiting the sick and housebound, School Liturgies, the Chrism Mass and the Easter Triduum. It can be difficult to find time for reflection and prayer. Pope Francis reminds us that evangelisation is addressed not only to others, those who profess different faiths or none “but, also ourselves, believers in Christ and active members of the People of God.” We are called to receive the Word of God and to change our life daily.

On March 27th {Wednesday} in our Obituary List there are two anniversaries: Fr William Whitmee and Fr John Guidera. They died one hundred years apart! The former in 1909 and the latter in 2009. I may, like others get puzzled by the changing dates of Easter but that is only over a matter of weeks. A century is an entirely different matter.

The Death and Resurrection of Christ impacted on both these members of our Province. It is important that I open myself in these coming days to allow the Mysteries of Holy Week to influence my thoughts, prayers and actions.

Last Sunday I was grappling briefly with the quandary of St Patrick’s Day or the Fifth Sunday of Lent? In the section in the Breviary of Poems for All Seasons of the Year I came across number 87- St Patrick’s Breastplate with five verses. The second verse was unknown to me and it says something about this Holy Week and Easter triduum, I think.

I bind this day to me for ever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation
His baptism in the Jordan River
His death on the Cross for my salvation.
His bursting from the spiced tomb,
His riding on the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom,
I bind unto myself today.