Bishop Mark O’Toole, the Bishop of Plymouth, has described the period we are living through as “a long Good Friday”. Recognising the loss of normal services, as well as the ordinary pastoral activity of the Church, during the pandemic, he encouraged people to recognise the “real heroes of this time” in those who are selflessly serving others.
He noted, that this Holy Week, the most significant week in the year for Christians, will “be like no other that we have experienced”. Nevertheless, he remarked that what we are witnessing is “a sign of a renewed humanity”, which “already contains the hope of brighter and better days to come. And who knows what gifts God will have bestowed upon us, in the meantime.”
Quoting from a popular song, titled The Rose, and applying it to our times and belief in Jesus Christ, he said, “Our sharing in the Son of God’s dying, in this long Good Friday, is a real participation in His redemptive act of love, for all.” He urged us all to remember, “in the winter, far beneath…….lies the seed that with His love, in the spring, becomes the rose.’”