6th Sunday of Easter
9th May 2021
St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”
A sense of absence will be filled for lots of people over these coming days with the gradual lift of some restrictions.
With it there is a real sense of anticipation, of beginning to live again as we use to. The prospect of doing so gives everybody a lift. And yet we know that somehow it is never going to be quite the same again. The Pandemic has changed the world as we knew it.
Our work places will never be quite the same again with so much working from home.
We will eventually get back to our travel but differently.
Zoom or its equivalents will change the pattern of meetings and gatherings.
So many patterns will change of which we know nothing yet.
And of course, the Church too will be changed by the experience of the last year and a half. The hitherto inconceivable idea that we could not gather for Mass shocked us and has left a great void in our lives – so we look forward to gathering again in person from tomorrow onwards. Real Eucharistic prayer needs our personal presence to one another and to the Lord. And it is our fervent prayer that we will not have to experience another lockdown.
Just like the rest of society the Church wonders how we can rebuild and reconnect after this long disconnection. Some wonder if people will come back. Will you yourself come back? Will you invite and encourage one another to come back? Naturally, over these coming weeks and months parishes will go to great efforts to build back the connections – sacraments that have been deferred will be re-scheduled and celebrated with God’s help.
A special outreach will be extended to the families who have been bereaved by Covid or during it. To grieve our loss in a wholesome way enables us to go on living fully and well.
Hopefully too, opportunities will open up to celebrate so many deferred weddings. Good and all as these prayer moments will be it will be more than a pity if we fail to learn the lessons the Pandemic has taught us.
The first overreaching lesson is a new experience of our fragility and mortality. Despite great advances in technology and science we live in a very uneven, fragile and unjust world. And while we thankfully are experiencing some hope and light, an extraordinarily high percentage of the world’s poor continue to be at risk – they will need our generosity and solidarity. We cannot just pass by.