Don’t call it “Paddy’s Day” or “Paddy’s”. This is a day to recall the faith we have received and by which we seek to be guided.
This is a day to be proud of who we are and the difference we have made. This is a day to hope that all that is good and true in our faith and church might shine a-fresh, reach out to all and stir up within our people a desire to please God and look after one another in a way that is meaningful, sincere and rooted in compassion and kindness.
This is not so much a day to drown the shamrock as to rejoice in the waters of baptism. It is not so much a day to watch the parade as to be in it – partaking fully in the journey of a nation and a people and in the search for depth. This is a time to find our roots, remember who planted us and to yield our fruit in due season. Being of Ireland today should be a badge of honour.
Being Irish today means being faithful to the many good people who have paved the way for us. It is about remembering the countries that made us welcome and having an eye towards the countries seeking our welcome.
It is about doing the right thing by and for people because it’s the right thing to do. Today is a day to hear the music, sing the song, dance the dance and be one with others. It’s not a day for begrudgery or bitterness, a day for hostility or anger but a day to remember the prayer of St Patrick:
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