Archbishop Eamon Martin has said he believes that people are growing closer to God during the coronavirus pandemic.
In his Sunday homily, the Primate of All-Ireland also said that parishes were working on roadmaps to return to public Masses as soon as it is safe to do so.
Archbishop Eamon said that he is “sure that many people are growing closer to God through this crisis, realising perhaps that the way they have been living their lives has been unsatisfying at a deep level.
“Our forced seclusion and restricted personal freedoms have certainly reminded us all that we are not invincible and we are far from being in control of everything; we are actually quite dependent – on others and on God. Life is precious and fragile; love and family is fundamental to our safety and well-being,:” he said.
He also said that “our parishes and dioceses have now begun to draw up their plans and ‘roadmaps’ for a return to collective prayer as soon as it is safe to do so.
“It has been very difficult for us not being able to gather together in our beautiful church buildings. We’ve had to rely on spiritual communion. For this I draw strength and inspiration from the words in today’s second reading which speak about our being like ‘living stones’ making up a ‘spiritual building’ and Christ being the cornerstone of that building,” he said.
The archbishop also paid tribute to all of those who are helping those in need during the Covid-19 crisis. “In recent weeks I have been impressed by the generous outreach of so many of our parishioners who have volunteered for community distribution of groceries, medicines and friendly calls to those who live alone.
“Earlier in the week I had an opportunity to meet with our local Knights of Malta, to hear about their work, to bless their ambulances and to pray with them for the protection of our carers and health workers,” he said.
Referring to the Sunday Gospel from St John where Jesus tells his disciples that there are many rooms in the Father’s House, Archbishop Eamon said “there are also comforting words in today’s Gospel reading, especially for those who are sick and suffering; those who have been admitted to hospital and feel isolated from family and friends.
“Jesus speaks memorable words of comfort: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God still and trust in me’.
“I think these words would also be very helpful for our A-level and Leaving Cert. students who might be feeling anxious about what happens next. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God still and trust in me’.”
Earlier this week, the archbishop released a video message to students who are anxious about uncertainty around examination timetables and the calculation of marks due to the crisis.