STORMS—Our Gospel last Sunday was the story of the storm that came up as the disciples were out on the boat. Fitting enough—Sunday Night it stormed continuously, with sound and flashes of light to emphasize it. At these times—or on other stormy times in our lives, relationship or health or finances— Jesus knows that, like the disciples, that may be all we see in the moment. They were terrified, like us, but at least knew to call out to him. So to them, and to us, he asks, ”Do you not have faith?” By now, any of us have been through enough trials and tribulations, and seen God bring us through, that our faith should at least be getting stronger in these situations.

So Jesus was saying “there’s more than this storm and your fears”, as I summarized the Gospel message of this extended period to Advent. This is evident in today’s story, too, when a little girl’s community could only see death in her situation. But Jesus saw life, and she got up and lived. There’s always more!! “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: behold, new things have come!” (2 Cor from last week).

Storms—They continue in our country, and it makes me sad. Besides all the contention about infrastructure repair, jobs, and budget, in my life I never imagined that a public health crisis would become “politicized”, with blame and health practices made into a football for “sides” to kick back and forth at each other. These are millions of people we’re dealing with, not points on a resume. So very sad debates go on between civic officials, and sometimes them and health officials. We are not in these storms, The only voice we’ve followed here is the voice of the Archbishop. This is his property, and Msgr. Blood and I are here to administer it, and the practices of the people, in his name, according to his directives. It’s further not our role to convince you who’s right or wrong in political matters or public health debates; that is not our authority here. Our authority and our calling is to preach and present to you the message of Jesus Christ risen from the dead. And it is a joy and a privilege to do that.

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