“The Spirit of God has made a home in you” Rom. 8/9
For many people, particularly those of my age and older Sunday without Mass left an uncomfortable feeling. This hasn’t happened in our lifetime, even with other serious outbreaks of sickness, poliomyelitis, influenza, aids, to name a few. Perhaps because of our ability to close everything down to isolate the corona virus, there will not be the number of deaths and seriously illness of the magnitude of 10s of thousands in Australia. But this pandemic will challenge our relationships with those we know and those we literally bump into, because of the personal isolation!
Our lives will be different. Health wise we will become aware of how we are all linked to each other. We will have to depend on others, those close and the supportive stranger, yet our customary greetings and expressions of friendship and gratitude are no longer possible in the short (?) term. In this past week I celebrated a wedding and three funerals, the situation we were obliged to respect created the most awkward feelings, not being able to congratulate or console those deeply affected by these important events. As a parish we will acknowledge and celebrate the lives of Anne Healy, LeoFinan and Bridget Toming with their families later at an appropriate time and rejoice in the marriage of Monica and Adam McRae.
The Sunday Mass streamed into people’s homes has been one way to reach out to the parish. The names and contact details that so many filled out in the last few weeks, is the next attempt to maintain contact, especially with those who live by themselves, or those who could need some contact over the next month or so. This responds to the gospel declaration of Jesus “where two or three gather in my name I am there with them”. This contact with two or three can be achieved on the phone, text messages, emails or a careful knock on the door. As St Paul wrote to the Romans “ the Spirit of God has made a home in you”, a challenge for us to share the homeliness we have been given – it is the spirit of kindness and acceptance that these days of isolation give us the opportunity to be aware of what others are going through. In the words of Pope Francis, we are “called by our baptism to be missionary disciples”.
We priest in the parish have the obligation to celebrate mass each day for all who are in need, whether it be in sickness or loneliness or those worried or in distress, so the the Spirit of God reaches out to “touch hearts that are broken”.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus inspire us to heal our broken world.
Paul, Paul, Noel and Tan msc
Noreen and Barbara