The wounds of Christ are prominently seen in this statue of the Crucified Jesus in St. Raphael-Holy Angels Church, Hamilton. In his message to faithful of the Diocese about the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., speaks of how  Jesus suffered and died for all and how "By his wounds we are healed." Photo from St. Raphael-Holy Angels Facebook page
The wounds of Christ are prominently seen in this statue of the Crucified Jesus in St. Raphael-Holy Angels Church, Hamilton. In his message to faithful of the Diocese about the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., speaks of how Jesus suffered and died for all and how "By his wounds we are healed." Photo from St. Raphael-Holy Angels Facebook page
In a March 17 recording for the Diocese’s podcast, "Catching the Word," Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., reminds his flock that God is always present among us, and is particularly “close to the poor, the sick and the suffering.”

Acknowledging the sacrifices and crosses “that bear down on us now” in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and the need to suspend Masses, Bishop O’Connell states, “We must pick up that cross and carry it, if only for a short while.”

The Bishop adds, “We will rise from this adversity, purified and ready to receive him again.”

Click here to listen to the podcast.  A transcript follows.  (A Spanish-language transcript is available here.)

 

Bishop reminds flock: ‘God is always present among us’

Hello, this is Bishop O’Connell.  At this confusing and difficult time, I wanted to assure all of the faithful that I am with you all in my thoughts and prayers.  Most importantly, however, I want to remind you that God is present among us, always.  Of this we can be sure. When we look at the life of the Lord Jesus, we see how often throughout the Gospels, the Lord is so very close to the poor, the sick and the suffering. He brought them healing, comfort and strength to endure the adversities they face. His only requirement was faith. The Holy Scriptures in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah remind us that surely Christ took upon himself our pain and bore our suffering. By his wounds we are healed.

This coronavirus pandemic has surfaced so cruelly during this Holy Season of Lent, a time of Penance and a time of grace. Lent always places before us sacrifices that we can make to unite ourselves to the Cross of Christ, in the hope that we will share his glory. So many sacrifices, so many crosses bear down on us now, even the temporary sacrifice of attending Holy Mass, something none of us desire or ever anticipated.  Yet, we must pick up that cross and carry it, if only for a short while.

God has not abandoned us, as he did not abandon his son on Calvary.  He is with us too in our great sacrifice.  But we will rise from this adversity, purified and ready to receive him again. 

My dear sisters and brothers, in his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul wrote, “Be joyful in hope; persevere in hardship.  Keep praying regularly.”  Good advice from one who knew suffering in Christ.  Good advice that I offer to you all. God bless you.