Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli has compared the upheavals of COVID-19 to the "chaotic chronology" of the last days of Jesus on Earth in his Palm Sunday Mass. Source: The Australian.
The Mass was streamed from St Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday. Yesterday's readings reflect on the last week of Jesus' life, from the triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to his death on a cross on Good Friday.
“In the space of no more than a week we move with Jesus from triumph to tragedy … from a sense of purpose to an overwhelming storm. Each moment tumbles over the other towards that of the most climatic of endings," Archbishop Comensoli said.
“In the midst of this chaos stands Jesus, the still point in the storm. He knows and allows what is happening while all others around him are thrown into disarray.
“In this disorienting time of coronavirus which is imposing such change on our lives are we not being called back to trust in what matters?’’ Archbishop Comensoli said. “Our optimism for technologically enhanced lifestyles and unfettered progression have proved to be woefully fragile and inadequate in the face of this world engulfing contagion.
“Simpler realities, less optioned lifestyles and greater stewardship of one another and our common home and more intentional relationships … these seem to be the locations in which we will find ourselves once more. Similarly, gestures of tenderness and closeness, courageous signs of service and care witnesses to trust and hope these are the signs of our stillness in the storm.”
As Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews discusses declaring a Stage 4 lockdown in his state, Archbishop Comensoli said he was grateful to Mr Andrews for making representations to the national cabinet for Easter liturgies to proceed with servers, cantors and several priests, but no congregations. Many of the liturgies will be streamed to thousands of parishioners at home. Social distancing in the churches would be strictly observed, as outlined by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday.
The Archbishop said the only positive side of the crisis was it had started to rekindle prayer in many households, with strong interest in the streamed services made available from many churches. The Church had become more creative in how it reached out to people, he said.
“We’ve been saying for decades and decades that faith is at home and in the parish, and now it’s literally at home,” he said.
Archbishop Comensoli also said he had a sense the crisis was shifting people’s priorities, prompting them to think about what was really important.
Archbishop compares COVID-19 to last days of Jesus (The Australian)