I had a topic to write about this week, but it was pre-empted by events. I like to keep the blog upbeat, but the homily this evening by my Pastor, Fr. Daniel Leary, on how he’s dealing with all the recent killing seemed more appropriate. I hope it helps.
Fr. Dan had been checking out the news before going to pray so he’d be up-to-date on what to pray for. But he found himself getting so agitated by the headlines that he couldn’t settle down. His mind was overwhelmed by the evil being unleashed on innocent people.
“So what am I supposed to pray for?” he thought. “To fix the person who did this? For peace?” Some of his parishioners were asking him why they should even pray. “It doesn’t seem to make any difference,” they said.
Father found inspiration from Abraham, who stood as one man before God and negotiated what could have been the salvation of Sodom and Gomorrah, had there been 10 innocent men there (you’ll remember he talked God down from 50 innocent men). Sin was running rampant, but Abraham did not let that stop him from hoping in God’s mercy.
Mercy, said Father Dan, was his way back into peaceful prayer. We can go before God and, no matter what is going on, we can simply call out to God for mercy, like Abraham did. God knows what we need. With the simple plea for mercy, we don’t have to figure out how God will give it, or to whom. Just “grant mercy to those who need it most right now, Lord.”
Father said that when he prays “mercy,” it penetrates the trauma – the trauma “no longer has dominion over me.”
Let’s remind ourselves who has dominion. St. Paul quoted scripture in writing that “‘For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:36-39).
Abraham, man of hope – pray for us.