WHO says that Christ is not risen this year?
When, in fact, he is dressed in a blue gown in green and white in our hospitals
Who says that the Nazarene cannot do penance when we all do penance by attending to the sick in our emergency rooms and wards
Who says that the crucified Jesus did not come out on Good Friday?
Look at him in our doctors and nurses who fall tired and exhausted
With humble Simon of Cyrenes helping at each step:
Nurses, carers, porters, doctors, cleaners side-by-side at each step without rest.
Like Jesus, who passed through the earth on a donkey,
So do our heroic pilots and truck drivers travel through the night
To supply hospitals, supermarkets, neighbourhoods, pharmacies and shops
The gardaí patrol deserted streets
And they are not with their families because they are taking care of ours.
And far from the cities Jesus still works and furrows
He goes to sea in a boat, digs wells, lays cables and grazes the cattle
Let no-one say that the Lord is not present in our streets.
When in empty churches priests celebrate daily Mass
Let no-one say that the condemned one is not coming out this year
As long as there is a kindly voice invoking the one locked up
Let no-one say that the all powerful one will not walk among us
When so many are praying and offering their lives in love
With tiredness and good humour and without fail.
Christ is also present in supermarkets replenishing shelves
Or looking after the desk.
Jesus comes in the truck, collects our rubbish and goes away unnoticed.
When I see so many people throughout the world who have had to bury their loved ones, I feel that the Virgin of Sorrows, Mary, has come out with her son in her lap, just like the Pieta
And if passing through death, frightens us all, our strength lies in the one who has conquered the world.
Now you see Christ meeting you in the midst of life all around, hidden in a thousand faces without candles or bells, but we will continue to smell the incense of the faith of our people.
Love leaps over the walls; the heart does not lock up
This is not a time to be full of fear or anxiety but rather to unite ourselves with the risen Jesus.
There is no social distancing when it comes to his loving and warm embrace.
Christ’s light is brighter than any darkness.
I pray in the challenge of now that we receive the grace of peace, the protection of health and resilience and courage that flows from the tender heart of Christ.