Reflection for Palm Sunday
5th April 2020
St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh
COVID 19 – Holy Week – in context
Virus or no virus this is a special week for disciples of Jesus. Across the centuries Holy Week stands apart because across the generations these days have been set apart to be celebrated as representing what God has realised for humanity in and through his son Jesus who has shared our humanity to the point of suffering death.
The spiritual journey through Holy Week affords us the opportunity to join our humanity, our experiences, to His. The span of Jesus’ experience through Holy Week begins with the exhilaration and acclamation of Palm Sunday to the betrayal of Spy Wednesday, to the drama of the Last Supper, to Good Friday and beyond.
Before we reach the joy of Easter Day we need to journey within and with the darkness and threat that the Cross entails – it represents so much of the sin and evil we battle against.
This year we make this spiritual journey in the midst of the ominous foreboding that the Corina Virus brings in our midst.
In a sense we are stripped bare and naked of so much social support – that we feel the chill of fear and anxiety. We do not yet know of its full impact. What we do know is that many will die, many families will be bereaved and will be unable to grieve as they might wish. We know too that most who will be infected will recover in time.
On a wider level we anticipate a difficult time economically with a huge potential negative impact on employment and all that may entail for us and our families.
My friends, being a disciple of Jesus did not and does not spare us from the darkness of evil, the suffering of illness or the loss of bereavement. What our faith in Jesus, as Our Lord, promises is that we are never abandoned, we do not walk alone.
While we dearly wish we could celebrate and mark this Holy Week differently – this time of disengagement, slowing down – can be a grace time for families, especially this week to help one another to make connection between our isolation and solitude and the light and hope that can shine in our lives when we open ourselves to the Lord and one another.
As we make this journey of faith this Holy Week, we pray
“Lord, let your love be upon us
As we place all our hope in you”