There was a tree in the garden in Thurles. An ordinary tree it seemed to us in the winter but in Springtime it revealed itself, giving forth two different coloured blossoms - pink and yellow. We learned that the tree with the pink blossoms had been grafted onto the main tree with the yellow blossoms, the two becoming one. One trunk, two identities. It reminds me of a couple getting married.
Such a couple came to the church today. A wedding in the time of covid-19 with fifteen guests, my first since before lockdown last year. And what a joy it was to feel and behold the love of this young couple. There was a moment in the ceremony when both were kneeling, leaning shoulder to shoulder, holding each other's hands, eyes closed in intent prayer and you could sense their lives merging in a new way, in the way of the sacrament. As time goes on they, like the tree, will become more and more one while each retains something of their own distinct identity.
Something similar is the desire of Jesus for His relationship with His followers. As the branch needs to be attached to the vine, so we need to be attached to Him, to have an enduring connection with Him. In a most unique way the Eucharist provides us with that connection. We can be connected to Jesus spiritually in various ways but only the Eucharist gives us a connection that is physical as well as spiritual. That's why the Mass is so central to our lives.
I found myself at the centre of a crime scene today. Coming towards the end of my walk I chose to go home via George's Street - the Quay Street of Hastings. A street that feels like home. It's there that you find the last of the Bank Holiday revellers, boisterous and loud from a day's drinking.