By Katie Ascough - 10 April, 2020
Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, has sent out an Easter message for 2020. He starts by giving thanks and praise to God and commenting on how “nature is alive all around us” with “sunlight” and “colourful flowers”.
“New life is everywhere. It is in this season of new life that we normally gather to celebrate the resurrection – an annual time of joy and happiness for Christians throughout the world,” he says.
He then addresses the coronavirus which has prevented usual Holy Week activities. “We celebrate together at a distance,” he says. “Thanks to the many modern means of communication we can still celebrate the joy of the resurrection. We are apart but still part of our communities through TV and radio. I hope you will take advantage of the options available to follow the Easter ceremonies over the coming days.”
He talks about events over the past number of weeks surrounding the COVID-19 virus “reshaping our world – not only nationally but also internationally”, with the world as we know it being “very different now as we sing the Easter Alleluia”.
He asks the faithful to not forget “our brothers and sisters in great need in other parts of the world”, as there are many countries where resources to deal with this pandemic are “meagre or non-existent”. He asks the faithful to consider giving aid: “Never has it been more obvious that we are one big human family on this earth. Together we must face this challenge now and into the future in solidarity with each other.”
He then encourages the faithful to read chapter 25 of the Book of the prophet Isaiah and be filled with hope, quoting: “Our God has destroyed the veil which used to veil all peoples, he has destroyed death for ever.”
He thanks those in civil society who are “giving selflessly in this battle against the virus, especially all medical personnel and support staff working in hospitals and care homes throughout the country”. He gives thanks to all the priests of the archdiocese, especially “those who are assisting the priests who are over 70 years of age and who are unable to carry out their normal ministry”.
He says that, as a people, we are resilient and resourceful and encourages us to remain strong “in the face of this pandemic” and that, with God’s help, “we will emerge from it with renewed commitment and hope in our God and in each other”.
He also reminds us to remain “vigilant” in watching out for those living alone and who are the weakest in our society.
“We keep in our prayers and thoughts the sick and those in the grip of the virus. May the risen Lord reign in your hearts and sustain you now and always,” Archbishop O’Reilly concluded.