FROM FATHER MICHAEL
We are certainly living in bewildering and surreal times! Charles Dickens said, in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
So many things are happening, that we are alarmed, apprehensive and anxious to say the least. Yet in the middle of all of this, goodness of heart, gentleness and thoughtfulness is blooming around us and that is a sign of hope in these most trying and difficult times! We continue to applaud the wonderful work of our NHS workers, who give of themselves so sacrificially. The Risen Lord continues to work in and through his people.
We also owe such a debt of gratitude, if not our lives, to those who in the past have often been overlooked in society, the stockers of supermarket shelves, delivery people, farm and food workers, cleaners of public spaces and many others. The novel coronavirus has cast the mighty from their offices and lifted-up the dignity and irreplaceability of those society often thought were lowly. Perhaps this is truly a Magnificat moment. In more ways than we could have imagined, our present crisis has revealed what is essential in our lives. Our confinement and anxiety have also revealed how much of what we thought was essential to our well-being is actually secondary, or even detrimental.
I wonder how this this new view of the essentials will affect the church and society after lock-down? The experience of COVID-19 has heightened the consciousness and reawakened the conscience of the church to the fragile, incarnate reality of human life. The church, like the whole world, has also been reminded by our experience of social distancing that human life can only be fully human when lived in solidarity and community with others. This is at the heart of our Catholic Trinitarian Faith.
Like many of you, I have been told to ‘shield’ and that brings with it many challenges as we live in isolation. I am very thankful at this time that God created Labradors! I continue to remember you in my prayers at the altar and look forward to being able to gather again as a parish community for the celebration of Mass when it is safe to do so. Please remember to check the Parish Bulletin which is available on our parish web site each week for the latest news and updates. I continue to be available on the telephone should you need any assistance.
With prayers and blessings this Eastertide