Reflections: 15th April 2018

A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter

LK 24:35-48 ( )

When one of our heroes dies we feel the loss, and struggle with many questions.

I had that forlorn experience a few weeks ago on hearing of the untimely death of the quiet and very gifted musician Liam Óg O’Flynn, who spoke so elegantly to us through the pipes. 

Another hero was the always smiling poet-laureate Séamus Heaney who, almost 5 years ago, texted Noli Timere (“Do not be afraid”) to his wife Marie and, sadly, died minutes later.

Ten years ago John O’Donohue - the Clare-born poet, prophet and priest - had just turned 52 years of age when he was snatched suddenly away from us.

Their music, their poetry, and their musings live on and we savour the delightful results of their respective well-matured crafts.  But we won’t hear them live ever again. The magic of their respective shows is now a memory. We won’t be surprised again by the unexpected turn, comment and delight of their live performances.  

Reflecting on such feelings of loss gives me a useful glimpse into how the disciples may have felt after the most cruel and unfair death of Jesus.   That unique story of Luke’s, where one can feel the sorrow and the misery of the two disciples heading out to Emmaus, is worthy of many tellings.

The story proves that relationships live on after that common yet unique and mysterious experience - death.   I am also encouraged to go back to the tunes, the poems and the reflections of my heroes.  And that hero who trod two millennia ago left us events and stories that nourishes a ‘mithered’ pilgrim. Further life-giving nourishment of Jesus is also enjoyed when we sit, seek, share and sup together.

In the dark days we can make our own of the mantra ‘Why are these doubts rising in your hearts?... Touch me and see for yourselves’ (Luke 24:38)

And let a few slow airs of Liam O’Flynn’s pipe music play in the background. Glimmers of dawn will surely creep into the tear-damp crevices of the heart.

Jim Owens - Jim is a Spiritan Associate and a healthcare chaplain at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview, Dublin.  He and his wife Geraldine are actively involved in An Tobar, the Spiritan Spirituality Centre in Ardbraccan, Co. Meath.