I want to send you greetings and blessings from Glenstal Abbey as we approach the great feast of Pentecost. Our society is slowly reopening after a long and difficult lockdown. We have returned to public worship and the vaccine allows us to hope that we are finally emerging from this COVID cloud. Our pandemic experience has reminded us of the importance of community. It has reminded us of our need for other people and the responsibility we all carry for each other.
Pentecost also reminds us of these things. Pentecost is the feast of unity and of understanding. On the day of Pentecost everyone heard and understood, “Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene; visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs.” In these days, we pray that God will send us this gift of understanding, opening our hearts and minds.
We pray especially for the people of India, suffering the worst effects of COVID. We pray for the people of Jerusalem and the Middle East, where violence has again taken hold. We pray for the sometimes forgotten people of Nigeria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan and Ethiopia, Myanmar and Tigray, where war and violence have caused so much human suffering. We also pray to the Holy Spirit for our own country at a difficult time, that wisdom and understanding will prevail. As we conclude the Season of Easter, we give thanks for the hope that the Holy Spirit brings. May we continue to cherish our newfound appreciation of each other in our communities and may our hearts and minds open to receive the Spirit’s gifts.
I wish all of you and your loved ones every blessing
Brendan Coffey OSB