Reflections 3rd May 2020

A Reflection for The Fourth Sunday of Easter

JN 10: 1-10 (

In the final sentence of today's gospel Jesus said "I have come that you may have life and have it to the full." 

St. Irenaeus once said that the glory of God was found in a human person fully alive. Living life to the full is bringing the best out of oneself – one's best self. We have seen some great examples of this during the COVID-19 crisis e.g. when many of us have been house-bound. Neighbours really became neighbours. Groups of people have risen to the occasion to help others, especially the elderly and infirm. We have seen it with GAA, rugby and other clubs. That is how we would all like it to be each and every day, not just during a crisis.

A young Kerryman caught the virus on a trip overseas and was hospitalised. Seriously ill and thinking that he was dying, he began to reflect on his life, whether or not it had been meaningful and well-lived, and whether he was a good person or not.

At a time like this one is able to put things in real perspective. Henry David Thoreau, the American essayist and poet, once said "Fear not that your life will end, rather fear that it may never have begun."

In his final paragraph on a recent daily reflection, Richard Rohr OFM had this to say: "Surely God holds medical workers and first responders close to God's heart as they put their lives on line to support us all. The courage they are showing is the kind of courage that comes from knowing the value of life. I pray we might all operate from that place as we struggle through the coming days."

Another aspect of life in Ireland today is how we deal with the "stranger", such as asylum-seekers; refugees and the "new Irish."  How is our céad míle fáilte for the stranger? The gospel reminds us that Jesus stood up for the forgotten in society.

Martin Keane C.S.Sp. – Fr. Martin is a native of Co. Clare. A former Provincial of the Irish Province who served as Superior of the Spiritans in Kenya, he is now the leader of the St. Joseph’s community of Spiritans which is attached to Rockwell College in Co. Tipperary.