Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ, Bishop of Raphoe, delivered a homily at Mass for the victims of the Creeslough tragedy in Saint Michael’s Church, Co Donegal, following the horrific accident of 7 October last.
In his homily, Bishop McGuckian stated, “We hold in our hearts most especially those for whom the shock is most acute: we think firstly of the ten who have lost their lives and gone to God and those nearest to them who are most bitterly bereaved; those who are injured and struggling to recover in body and spirit; everyone, both the community and the first responders in the public services who have carried the burden of being close to the tragedy as it has unfolded; we remember everyone, here in Creeslough and throughout the country who feels helpless and shaken by the shock of what has happened.”
He continued, “If we can for a moment see ourselves as standing with them, accepting our fragility, our lack of control in any ultimate sense, then we are invited to join them in looking beyond ourselves for the support we need. First of all, let us hear their cry of need: Jesus, Master, take pity on us! They had no control anymore; they were profoundly aware of their helplessness, and they saw before them someone they could turn to and put their trust in: Jesus, Master, take pity on us!”
Concluding Bishop McGuckian said, “Here in Creeslough – and in all churches across Donegal, in the hospital and university chaplaincy, in the schools – all know that you can call upon the clergy, teachers, fellow parishioners and Jesus truly present in Eucharist. Jesus wants us to come close to Him in our brokenness. As we do that we can, let us turn to Saint Paul and let the words he wrote to Timothy all those years ago speak to us:
If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful,
for he cannot disown his own self.”