A Phobail Dé,
Guím Beannachtaí na Cásga oraibh ar fad!
There is a phrase from the 23rd Psalm that has a particular resonance as we approach Easter this year: ‘If I walk through the valley of darkness, no evil would I fear, for you are there…’
Has the relentless spread of the Covid19 virus turned our world into a… valley of darkness? There’s a deep darkness surely, and in the dark, we need guides and leadership.
And it is for us, then – critically – to listen and to follow the guidance: from our elected leaders, and especially our medical guides.
It is our time, in other words, to obey: Wash your hands! Stay at home! Keep your distance!
The fact is obedience is for grown-ups in the first place. Like all that is good and best and responsible in life, obedience is taught most effectively silently, by example – Personal confinement for all, ‘cocooning’ for many of us. Loving one another by keeping our distance.
Year after year, the forty penitential days of Lent, and in particular Holy Week, carry us in spirit into a deep darkness as we accompany Jesus on his way of the Cross to Calvary.
Saint Paul described these events like this:
‘Jesus’, he said, ‘emptied himself… becoming as the lowliest of humans… he humbled himself… and became obedient unto death – even death on a cross…’
The Cross, however, and Calvary, and the tomb itself, are not the end of the story.
Neither for Jesus, or us, or our world.
The God who is our Father is forever creator, life-giver. Not in spite of darkness, pain and death but in and through them. Mysteriously.
We are made in his image: creative, resilient… made to love as Jesus shows us.
And life is our destiny, our fulfilment.
Calvary and the tomb give way, year after year, and to the end of time, to the Dawn that is Easter: Resurrection, New Light, New Life!
So will Covid-19 give way… It’s doing so even as we speak…something new is being born.
Look round. Listen… see how people are appreciating one another, looking out for each other, creatively, ingeniously supporting one another and coming together…
…in faith and hope and love. The Blessing of Easter being born in so many concrete ways even as the virus continues to spread.
May God grant that Blessing of Easter to grow and prosper in all our lives and hearts bringing the Light of healing, health, new life and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Faoi choimirce Muire Máthair agus Íosa Chríost an Aiséirí go raibh muid um Cháisg i mbliain seo ár dTiarna 2020
Amen! Alleluia !
Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh & & Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678