6th Sunday of Eastertide – Year A – Ennis Cathedral – 6.30 Mass, Saturday, 16th of May, 2020, Ennis Cathedral
We are very much at an in-between and cross roads time at the moment. Since early March we have been in lockdown and away from what we regard as normal routine. However, with a preliminary D-day of May 18th, with God’s help we begin what we hope and believe will be a time of gradual emergence from that with the start of phase one of the government plan to return to our normal life. A cross road in time!
Opening of Churches
The first phase of return to return to routine Church practice will be the opening of Churches for private and personal prayer, provided the necessary precautions are in line with the guidelines. That will be a great blessing and solace for many to be able to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady and perhaps light a candle. A cross road in time!
One of the hardest and strangest thing to do since I became bishop of Killaloe almost four years ago, the week of St. Patrick’s day was to recommend the closures of Churches right across the diocese. This remained the case for St. Patrick’s day, Holy Week, Easter and up to this time well into May.
Thanks be to God we are now at a point when we are able to take a preliminary baby step to get back to normal and that people can now safely come to our Cathedral to pray.
A Time of Transition
Not only is it a transition time in our dealing with the Corona Virus, but this time of the year is always a transition time for so many people as well, young and old.
First Holy Communion
It’s a transition time for the many young people right across our parish, diocese and world in that so many second class pupils would ordinarily have received their first Holy Communion today. We remember them in our prayers today. A cross road in time!
This evening we mark what would have been first holy communion day for Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Chíosóg anseo in Inis, Lé Céad Comaoineach. Arán na beatha. An tAifreann naofa. Cuirimis na scolairí sin ar fad faoi bhrí na guí ins an Aifreann Naofa seo. As the beautiful motto on the Gaelscoil website tells you in a flashing banner “Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí”!
It’s a transition time for the many students who would have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. Every day I look at my diary with great sadness and see where I should be. Thursday, Youghalara in North Tipp. Thursday afternoon down by the great Lough Derg in Portore. Friday, Silvermines, also in north Tipp. And then today back to the banner county here in Clare with two big groups in Shannon to be Confirmed. We remember the Confirmation students in our prayers today. Tar anuas a Spiorad Naomh. A cross roads time!
Thursday night I was to preside at the graduation Mass for the students of St. Flanan’s College, the Killaloe diocesan college, in this very location, Árd Eaglais Naomh Peadar agus Pól anseo in Inis. We remember them and all students who graduated this week. Faoi choimirce na Maighdine go raibh siad. A cross road in time!
It’s a time of transition from Spring into Summer with the month of May and during that time of transition we journey with Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother as this is special month of devotion to her. In the past couple of weeks I had the delight of exploring some of the many, up to 18 of them, Marian grottos here in Ennis and offering a prayer for all who needed a prayer at each of these holy locations. Special remembrance of course for anyone affected by the virus or the many who have died during this time. Go leigheasaí Dia na daoine atá tinn agus go raibh leaba ag na mairbh i measc na Naoimh ar feadh na síoraíochta.
Shrines of Clarecastle
Yesterday, my well used bicycle at this time of fine weather, ventured a little further than Ennis, but still within the bounds of the mandatory 5k with a trip to some of the beautiful shrines of Clarecastle and Ballyea parish, both in devotion to Our Lady and John the Baptist. Faoi bhrat na Maighdinne Muire go raibh muid ag an am speisialta seo. May we be safe under the mantle of Mary at this transition time of May. A cross road in time!
A Cross Roads time in Eastertide
In this time in the middle of Eastertide we are at a cross roads time in between Resurrection and Ascension next week. It’s a cross roads time in the sense that Jesus has risen from the dead, is appearing to the disciples and has not yet Ascended to the Father. In that time of transition he is trying to leave an important message to capture the core of what he came on this earth to do. His message according to today’s Gospel is simply a message of Love.
It’s in a nutshell in the line:
“Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be one who loves me; and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and show myself to him.”
Grá Dé agus grá dár gcomharsain!
It’s simple message, but profound and indeed very complex in the living out of same and therein lies the challenge to live this out in our concrete situations where you are here an now. A cross roads time.
May that love of God, made visible in the Risen Lord be at the heart of all that you do and say in the course of this week and always.
Gura seacht fearr a bheas muid faoi cheann seachtain eile nuair a bheas muid le chéile le hagahidh an tAifreann Naofa arís.