I arrived late yesterday afternoon, Election Day, feeling very jet lagged and a bit disoriented. The flights were delayed for a number of hours necessitating change of flights and layovers, which is part of the travel experience. I went to bed assuming I would wake up to President Hillary Clinton. I woke up at 5:00 am for some water, looked at my cell phone, and just stood there in my dark kitchen, seeing the words on my phone: “Donald Trump elected 45th President.” I was completely shocked out of a deep sleep and thrust into a stunning reality. Things didn’t go as planned…what an understatement.
I am writing this fully cognizant that we have a new president, whose election is causing so many to be filled with doubt and anger. But before we surrender to emotions that will only cause inner termoil and outer division, let’s surrender to Prayer and our relationship with Christ. Let Christ speak to your heart…what is he saying…how does he want you to respond? When we settle down and into prayer, EVERYTHING changes, including our emotions and thoughts.
It is so ironic that on this day of political turmoil, we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran, which is a celebration honoring the mother church in Rome, the church ofvthe Popes. But this Feast really celebrates the Church that is Living and Breathing in its People, with Christ as the Foundation. Christ is THE foundation of our Church, our parishes, our families, our selves. The beauty of the physical building mirrors the beauty of the People of God, the Church.
Our nation needs us to RISE to the occasion, to THIS occasion and to respond as a People rooted in faith, hope and love. God wants us to be “dedicated” to building the Kingdom. The world, our nation, doesn’t need us to respond with angry words and invectives; it doesn’t need us to refuse to cooperate; it doesn’t need us to feed cynicism and fear. It needs us to be the Living Church of a people “dedicated ” to building bridges and praying that Donald Trump will be a good leader. President Obama had gracious words of support and encouragement, as did Hillary Clinton.
We need to encourage each other and assure our children that the transition about to take place will be peaceful and hopeful. I thought it beautiful that Hillary wore the color purple, which is a combination of blue and red, at her concession speech. May this time of uncertainty and confusion yield to such graceful gestures. May President-elect Trump surrender to such Grace and surprise everyone.
Peace. Fr. Frank