On Good Friday we say there was a time and place when God accomplished his greatest deed; if we lose sight of that we are also losing sight of what God is really like. As we celebrate being European Capital of Culture it is right that we ask the question: 'What is the culture of Good Friday?' It is a day that gives us the culture of patience; the culture of mercy and the culture of self-sacrifice. If there is any culture without these qualities does it deserve the name 'culture' at all? Our Easter celebration is early this year, almost as early as it can be in the calendar, and that is appropriate as the Gospels tell us that they went to the tomb very early in the morning on the first day of the week to find that the stone had been rolled away. There is something right about saying that this is the feast of that which happens early in the day as Easter promises a very new day, a new beginning with a promise of everything being fresh and unspoilt. Easter is the day that dawned through the one who transformed sin and its consequences of barbarity and spite. Nothing and no one could destroy a life grounded in patience, mercy and selflessness. There is the assurance for patient, merciful and selfless spirits that their life and joy shall be victorious. Our Easter Sunday Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral is to be televised on BBC 1 and so will be a special blessing both for those taking part and for those watching. It will be a declaration of the fact that death shall not have the last word and that sin is overcome. It will give us the truth that in the midst of a troubled world there is always a light that can never be extinguished.
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Saint Paul of the Cross, Bl Jerzy Popieluszko
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