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Bishop Brendan Kelly ‘obedience is for grown-ups’

By Katie Ascough - 11 April, 2020

Bishop Brendan Kelly

Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh, has released a reflection for Easter. He begins by quoting Psalm 23, which he says has “particular resonance” as we approach this Easter: “If I walk through the valley of darkness, no evil would I fear, for you are there” (Psalm 23:4).

He mentions the “relentless spread” of Covid-19, how there is surely deep darkness in which we need “guides and leadership”. This he relates to the guidance of “elected leaders and especially our medical guides”, quoting the campaigns “Wash your hands! Stay at home! Keep your distance!”

He states that “obedience is for grown-ups in the first place” which is taught most effectively in silence – such as the personal confinement, ‘cocooning’ and keeping our distance. He compares this time of inflicted silence to the “forty penitential days of Lent, and in particular Holy Week” which “carry us in spirit into a deep darkness as we accompany Jesus on his way of the Cross to Calvary”.

However, he states, “The Cross … Calvary, and the tomb itself are not the end of the story. Neither for Jesus, nor us, nor our world. The God who is our Father is forever creator, life-giver. Not in spite of darkness, pain and death but in and through them. Mysteriously.”

Bishop Kelly reminds the faithful that Calvary and the tomb “give way, year after year” to “the Dawn that is Easter: Resurrection, New Light, New Life!”

He reminds us that Covid-19, too, will give way, and is doing so even now, to something new to be born. “See how people are appreciating one another, looking out for each other, creatively, ingeniously supporting one another and coming together in faith and hope and love. The Blessing of Easter is being born in so many concrete ways even as the virus continues to spread,” the bishop states.

He concludes his message with a blessing: “May God grant that Blessing of Easter to grow and prosper in all our lives and hearts bringing the light of healing, health, new life and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord … Amen! Alleluia!”

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