St John's Q&A

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tabernacles of Hope

"You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake".

- Bob Hope
Here is an excerpt from my reflection at the Masses this past weekend:

There are two things that I can say with great confidence about Hurricane Katrina. First, the hurricane was not part of God’s active, perfect Plan. Second, God has allowed this to happen in order to bring about tremendous good. On the first point, the Book of Wisdom, Chapter One, “God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living”. On the second point, whenever we ask, ‘why does God allow evil to exist? Why does He allow suffering’, we need to look at the Cross. Why did He allow that? He loves his only Son infinitely, He has perfect love for Jesus. And yet, He allowed Him to suffer tremendously.

Like Christ, the people in the South, particularly New Orleans, have been humbled something fierce, have been stripped of almost everything, and have suffered tremendously. They are carrying a HUGE Cross. Like most crosses, they didn’t choose this. They are sharing in Christ’s Passion and suffering. But, while Christ had his Good Friday, He also had his Easter Sunday. He rose from the dead! Conquered death! Life after death! So, too, those in the South who are in their Passion will have a Resurrection.

Mother Teresa once said, “Don’t ever get so sad that you lose sight of the Resurrection”. While we are men and women of the Cross – Jesus says, ‘unless you carry your cross, you cannot be my disciple’ – we are men and women of the Resurrection. We believe and have great confidence that our brothers and sisters in the South will experience a Resurrection. They will experience a newness of life that they’ve never known. They will find joy in things that before they didn’t or in things that they’ve taken for granted – a bed to sleep on, a hot meal, a roof over their heads. We believe that they will experience a Resurrection soon.

We come to this Mass, every Mass, celebrating Christ’s Death and Resurrection. Especially in the Eucharist, we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross in a special way, and that makes Him present on the altar under the signs of bread and wine. We receive Jesus’ risen flesh and blood in Holy Communion, and go forth from this place as living tabernacles of hope to those we meet. We have the risen Lord dwelling within us at that point. Hope Himself dwelling within us. We take a message of hope, this Gospel of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love to our neighbors, friends and family this week, and pray with great confidence for the victims of Katrina.

“Don’t ever get so sad that you lose sight of the Resurrection”.


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