The day is coming!

There was the day we sat our first big exams and the day we heard we had passed – or failed. There was the day we started work or the day we were laid off work. There was the day we knew we had found someone to share our life or the day it all fell apart. And there was the day our country chose to join Europe and the day we decided to leave it. Then there was the day we made peace in Colombia and the day we rejected the peace. And now there was the day, this week, when we voted for Hilary and we got Trump.

biblelightrays636363-42This weekend some of us will hear the words of Malachy, “The day is coming now, burning like a furnace.” I remember a day last March when it suddenly became possible that Trump, who, up to that time, was considered a wild card – almost a joke, might somehow make it. I remember thinking, ‘he has got his way most of the time all his life. How would he get his way if faced with the Russians or the Chinese?’ I don’t want to claim to be a prophet but the thought did flash across my mind, ‘this guy could get things done.’ I still wished he would not be chosen.

But he was. And this poses a weighty reflection. To clear the ground, let’s just once again remember we have to live with our choices. If we voted for Hitler in 1933 – or even if we didn’t but enough others did – we have to live with that. God gives us a world where we make choices and we have to accept the results. We can moan that people vote for comfort and security and not for risk and generosity. But that is how it often is. It will delay our movement towards building community on earth but it won’t, ultimately, thwart it.

What the Trump event does bring into stark relief is the – may I use the word? – awesome power we have to influence the direction of world history. What has been bothering me these past few days is, not the decision that was made in the US, but the fact that men and women can make such decisions and have such colossal influence on the rest of us. The furnace Malachy is talking about is of our own stoking, not God’s.

Getting on in years and looking at my own life, I am appalled by the number of occasions I have let slip to make courageous decisions. I avoided them. It prompts me to set out, even at this eleventh hour, and lay hold of “the day” the Lord gives,  and take courageous and generous decisions that mirror the heritage we all have of being made in the image of God.

13 November 2016     Sunday 33 C

Malachy 3:19-20         2 Thessalonians 3:7-12            Luke 21:5-19

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