7th August 2022.
St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh
“God with us”
It is often in moments of crisis, conflict or confusion that we are brought back to reality and refocus ourselves and thereby our life. How often do we hear or read of well-known people in entertainment or another public role write or speak of a moment in their career when everything fell apart and they simply had to withdraw and slowly re-build their sense of self and rebalance their work and exposure to the pressures of public engagement. They in effect have to learn or relearn long known wisdom and insight about living in a wholesome and enriching way.
My friends, these thoughts are prompted by reflection on today’s readings on the experience and nature of faith in God and how it keeps us alert and aware of the unexpected and unforeseen events in life. All of us are naturally drawn to let our guard down when things are going smoothly. We are lulled into a relaxed and ‘floating’ way of living. So we can easily drift along and not be aware and alert to what is changing ‘round us.
Covid was at once a shock and a teacher of what can change so quickly and what we need to keep our focus on. Yet, while it is still with us, we seem to have forgotten so much so quickly. If we are to heed the experts Autumn/Winter may prove a very challenging time once again. I won’t dare speak of the Ukraine nightmare or inflation.
But today your/our presence to one another is a moment of grace and blessing to recognise and cherish the gift of faith in God – faith tests our pride and calls for a humble and contrite heart in which to find a home. Faith gives us the capacity to lift up our eyes above the horizon of everyday events to glimpse the mystery of the Divine in life and beyond. Our gathering for Mass, through Word and Sacrament draws us gently anew into the presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament but equally in and among one another because we are gathered in faith in His name. This appreciation of “God with us” in life is the fruit of faith and of our daily response in prayer.
This sense of the Lord’s abiding presence is a daily gift beyond measure or price.