We are the Easter people and our song is 'Alleluia'

By Canon Philip Gillespie

The celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost towards the end of this month, Sunday 24th, brings to a conclusion the season of Easter – and will mean that our Paschal candle moves from standing next to the lectern or in the middle of the sanctuary to take its place beside the baptismal font.

For the rest of the year it will be lit at baptisms and funerals – the 'Alpha and Omega', beginning and end of our physical journey as members of the household of faith, the Church.

We are the Easter people and our song is 'Alleluia'

Those of us of a certain age will remember 35 years ago in May 1980 when the National Pastoral Congress was celebrated in Liverpool; Pope John Paul II wrote these words of greeting:

"Brothers and sisters in Christ: Let us not lose sight of Jesus who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection. Let us not lose sight of his guiding word. Let us not lose sight of his Spirit abiding in our hearts. In everything, trust in Jesus. Trust in his grace working within you and inviting you to sacrifice and holiness. Trust in his presence in the Eucharist and in the whole Church. Trust in the power of his Gospel to be the light which will lead you into the future, that 'the message of Christ in all its richness find a home in you', for it is his justice, his compassion, his love which you bring to the world."

We recall the events of those days with gratitude and we realise that the task remains always current – to carry with us the gentleness, compassion and justice of Christ. In this task the Liturgy nourishes and directs us in fidelity to the example and command given to us; we give thanks for the generations who have gone before us and, just as we have renewed at Easter our baptismal promises, so at Pentecost we receive a renewal in our missionary and evangelising zeal.