Did you feel the earthquake? Not the usual ground shaking earthquakes of California, but the visceral one that has rocked our nation and our parish.
On July 28that 5:40pm, a gunman attended our normally joyful Gilroy Garlic Festival and killed four and physically injured 13. Then on August 3rdat 10:39am at an El Paso Wal-Mart, another gunman went on a rampage, killing 22 and injuring 24. That very evening at 1:05am, yet another gunman went on a 30-second shooting spree killing 10 and injuring 27 others.
And if that is not enough, the tremendous heat wave in Europe and North America has now struck Greenland and Alaska, leading to glaciers there melting at an incredible rate. The Economists cover story for this week is about the Brazilian Amazon being near a tipping point, where soon there will not be enough trees and vegetation to maintain the normal moisture and rain in the area.
And if that was not enough, we sadly lost 40 year-old Steven Koneffklatt. He was baptized at our parish on September 21, 1979. His contemporaries whose baptisms were near this date include Tyler Kreitz, Gretchen Werner, and David Battagin. Steven sadly leaves behind his wife and four young children. His funeral Mass was beautifully celebrated at St. Therese Catholic Church last Tuesday.
With these horrific tragedies, it is hard to make sense of this world we live in. Is this really the world that God kept on saying was good over and over again in the Genesis creation story? Is this really the world that St. John tells us God so much loved that God sent God’s only Son into the world? Surely the Bible is talking about another earth, not ours.
These are confusing times with no simple answers. There are only overwhelming Job-like mysteries that make no sense. There are lots of tears, lots of confusion, lots of anger, lots of frustration, incredible sadness,... There are deep wounds that may never heal on this side of Heaven. But then even Jesus continued to have his scars after the resurrection.
Jesus does a most curious thing when he first meets with his disciples after his personal horrific passion and death, followed by the resurrection. He shows them his hands and feet and then asks for food. What a most curious set of things to do? But sometimes trying to use too many words to explain things just gets in the way.
By showing his hands and feet, he was sharing his wounds with his disciples. On this side of heaven, we are all going to be wounded in some unique way. Our woundedness ironically is a thread that links us together and awakens us to our fundamental unity, our shared reality, that we really are brothers and sisters. By Jesus having wounds like us, we can realize Jesus is just like us. He truly is fully human besides being fully divine. We are not alone and more than that, we are loved. God so loved our crazy world that God sent us a son, a brother, a Savior.
By asking for food, he is inciting a shared a meal. Maybe that’s what we need to do more. We need greater unity. In unity, we can support each other in our helplessness. In unity, we can be a light against the darkness. In unity, we can multiply our acts of kindness and goodness to tip the scales of the world back to how God intended. In unity, we can go beyond passive, frustrated thinking or talk, to prophetically speak out and demand greater morality, greater goodness from our leaders and others. It is time to demand our political leaders change our laws to keep us and our world safer and healthier. Life is a mystery, but united in our woundedness, let us make life, not a tragic mystery, but a grand mystery.
– Fr. Ivan
(8/11/19 Bulletin Flap)