Nov. 9th

On November 9th, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west.

On November 9th, the earth will turn on its axis and continue to orbit the sun.

On November 9th, there will be 24 hours and each hour will have 60 minutes.

On November 9th, the football season will still exist.

On November 9th the seemingly endless presidential campaign will be over.  Regardless of who wins —– and please Lord, let us not repeat the Bush-Gore type of confusion —- the world as we know it will still exist.  We will need to get up and go to work, we will need to raise kids, and bills will still be in the mail.

I am sure some of the ugliness will remain — I am sure that we will be as divided as we are now. My vote, like yours, will have been counted and joined to others — in blue and red states alike.

But, as the analysis goes on and one analyst yells over another, my life must continue — and your life must continue ——- right where we are — in the midst of the circumstances unique to us.

And so, what do we do?

First — make sure we exist in the election process.  There are two major candidates and several other choices on the ballot.  LOCAL ELECTIONS need our attention and voice, too.

Good Catholics will vote for Mr. Trump  —- and Good Catholics will vote for Ms. Clinton.

It is not a sin to vote for Mr. Trump —– it is not a sin to vote for Ms. Clinton.

Pray — reflect — listen — sense your heart’s leanings — and vote.

For inspiration, let us hear the words from today’s scripture ….

St. Paul [2Timothy 3:14-4:2] says:  Proclaim the word; be persistent, whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

What I hear:  keep on keeping on to do the best we can.  Do the good we can with persistence —- show the love that attracts and inspires — let others see what goodness looks like — shine light in darkness.  Teach by example.

On November 9th, 10th, 11th — and on January 20, 2017 —- we must be true to ourselves and the faith we hold dear.

The Gospel of Luke [18:1-8] asks the question:  “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

My faith in the political process is shaky.  My faith in politicians is weakened.  At times, my faith in leaders of the Church is disappointed.  But, my faith in God remains strong.

We have lived through the terrible days of Jim Crow.  We survived the assassinations of President Kennedy and Dr. King and Senator Kennedy.  We survived Watergate and the Nixon resignation.  We survived Vietnam.  We will survive November 8th.

Facebook messages are countless in proclaiming that “God is in charge” and that “God is bigger than politics.”  Now we must LIVE THAT WAY.

Maybe — just maybe we are putting too much hope — maybe, just maybe we are expecting too much from a flawed system —- maybe, just maybe our faith and our trust is misplaced.

I believe the world is good and that the world can do a better job.  I believe I am called to transform the world by LIVED faith — and participation in the social process.  But, I know that no matter what I do — it will not be enough.  No one — no one is perfect and no one has all the answers.  The systems are flawed because people are flawed.

Like the widow in the Gospel — there are people who are asking for our help.  We can respond because it is the right thing to do — or because we are tired of hearing them ask.

I must do my work — proclaiming the word through my actions.

I might not be able to go to Haiti to help with Hurricane Relief —- but I can contribute to Catholic Charities USA that is on the ground in Haiti.

I might not be able to pick up debris in North Carolina — but I can stay after mass and put the song books back in the racks, pick up bulletins left behind, and throw away that used tissue that some person left —- and those who come to the next mass have a clean space to worship.

I may not be able to negotiate peace in Syria — but I can choose not to brood over hurt feelings —- I can choose to let yesterday be yesterday — and start a new day.

I may not be able to house an immigrant family —- but I can refuse to blame all our problems on “those people.”

I know there is one thing we can all agree on —- we are ready for this election cycle to be over.  Maybe we have said that every four years.  But for some reason, the past year has really been wearing and wearying —- it is time to change the conversation and to do the good we can do —— to focus on the issues that are truly important.

As St. Paul reminds us, ” we have been equipped for every good work.”  We have been formed by God, informed by the Scripture, and reformed by the living SPIRIT of God.

hjm

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