It is little over a year since the first stay-at-home order came into effect in Ireland. Much has changed in our lives since then. We have known the frustration of isolation and the fear of sickness. All around us the struggle to cope is palpable. The adjustment to an altogether alien way of living continues to be a heavy burden to carry. For some who themselves have tasted the bitter cup of suffering that is the virus, or have lost a loved one, the anguish is unbearable.
Yet we Irish are a resilient people. We have known famine, oppression and the awfully cruel civil war. Poverty has knocked on many a door in more recent times of unemployment and recession. We know the social ills of drug abuse and rising violence on streets and in homes. The struggle just to be human is sometimes overpowering for us. Lord, help me make it through this day. Lord, keep me safe during this night.
We know loss, pain, and death. It is, I guess, the price paid for living and loving. Would we want it any other way? These days of isolation gift us with a keener sense of our need for one another, our need to belong. How much we value the ’phone call from afar and knock on the door from the neighbour next door.
We are not alone. We have our memories of loves past and the will to live is renewed in us. Life overcomes death. Deep within us flow waters of aspiration and hope springing up to new life. We are a Christian people. We have been for centuries. And we know. We know that God is in the suffering. The Crucified one is risen. The divine embrace of mercy enfolds us, and we blurt out from the depths of unbelief, “My Lord, and my God.”