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Homily of Bishop William Crean – Sunday 5th July 2020

14th Sunday A
5th July 2020
St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh
“And you will find rest for your souls”

My friends,

A cartoon I saw recently sought to depict the plight we are in right now as we try to retrieve some kind of normality in society.  If you can imagine an old-style undertaker walking ahead of a funeral cortege, albeit slowly to make sure that a dignified pace is set.  Then, behind you have an open top jeep with a couple in the front seat looking sombre.  And then you have a motley crew in the back full of the joys of life and you have a voice bubble out of one of them which says “open her up there, Patsy!  It is an amusing take on our situation if it was not so serious.

On one level people are raring to go so much that we are inclined to forget how precarious the situation in which we remain.  For all of us disciples across the country who are gathering this weekend it is a great joy and uplift to our spirits.  In the midst of other things, it shows so powerfully how much Mass is an exercise in communion – with the Lord and one another.  In ways we find it difficult to put our finger on, our being together round the sanctuary in prayer touches us deep within, in a way that others often find so difficult to grasp or understand.

It will I believe take us some time to regroup and reawaken our being together in prayer.  The restrictions by way of movement are all for the common good – so we try to be both alert and patient.  There is little doubt that if together we observe the recommendations to sanitize our hands, respect the social distancing and follow the movement guidelines we will mitigate any risk from our gathering in prayer.  In so many areas of life we must learn to live with the threat of the virus.  We have been well informed as to how we need to behave in order to keep one another safe.  Let us continue to do so.

The global experience of the spread of the virus is a humbling one for all nations.  The virus does not discriminate.  It has taught us all a lesson about ourselves and how fragile we are and about the world too, despite the sophistication of our science and technology, we are vulnerable.

Do not the words of Jesus seem so apt for us today “I bless Father Lord of heaven and earth for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children”

“Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.  Shoulder my yoke and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart”.  “And you will find rest for your souls”.

There are so many whose souls are badly in need of rest.  During the lockdown many found it very difficult – some because it was a bit claustrophobic, others because suddenly the frantic pace of their lives just stopped and they did not know what to do with themselves.  There were and are others for whom the lockdown was a blessed relief and rest and while they did
not or would not choose it, the lockdown provided a welcome personal space that they found rejuvenated them.

As we begin to retrieve some measure of normality, we have many challenges ahead.  Together we are strong in meeting these new situations.  For all of us there is an underlying question that is worth asking of ourselves and seeking an answer to.

What have you learned from the lockdown experience?  And having put words on these insights how will you adjust your approach to things as you look ahead?

“I thank you Father Lord of heaven and earth for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children”.

“Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you r

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