The dysfunction in Washington … the fighting in the Middle East … the conflicts in Africa … weather extremes around the world … senseless murders in our cities and towns. One could rightly ask, “Where is God in all this?”
That’s the wrong question. God has nothing to do with all this. Many like to blame God for the world’s ills but in reality nearly all of them are of our own making. Maybe I’m not personally responsible for inflicting these evils upon the world, but by saying or doing nothing I share responsibility for allowing evil and dysfunction to win the day.
But by the same token, we can also be responsible for bettering the world through our involvement. Do you remember when as children we used to say the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel after Mass for the conversion of Russia? Then came the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. How much did Pope Francis’ call for a day of prayer and fasting curtail the urge to fling missiles at Syria? Who would have thought that after decades of animosity, the Presidents of the U.S. and Iran would make a phone call that might herald a new chapter in relations between the two countries and less risk for the world?
In one way or another, all three of Sunday’s readings urge us to persevere in prayer and action on behalf of good. We are asked to pray first of all for a much deeper and stronger trust and confidence that our God is near us even when he seems so far away. Rather than reacting to events with a “spirit of timidity” or anxiousness about the future (read the Second Reading), we are encouraged to make use of the “Spirit of power and love and self-control” and work with God to bring that time closer when God’s Will prevails.
Love deeply, pray faithfully, laugh often!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.