Year A – MMOJ – With Praise and Thanks on the 24th Week of Ordinary Time – 9/16/17 –

Sally Brochu, ARCWP

Today’s readings were specifically chosen to reflect this liturgy of thanks and praise. Our first reading speaks of how “the earth may shake but the things being shaken are created things, they are going to be changed, so that the unshakable things will be left – an unshakable kin-dom” . The last line reminds us “Let us therefore hold on to the grace that we have been given and use it to worship God, in reverence and awe”.

The second reading includes the line” This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but it is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God”.

The Gospel is the simple but profound statement “Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God and trust in me”.

These are loving reminders from Scripture especially as we experienced this a challenging week for all of us as we faced the potential damage of Hurricane Irma. For most of us, that threat was mild compared to the many millions of people in Irma’s path. Before that there were the tragic results of Hurricane Harvey. It seemed to me that all here have hearts full of gratitude and thanks for which we thank and praise God and feel blessed.

We also know that for centuries, philosophers and theologians have struggled with the issue of why some people are spared certain suffering and others are not. Just as our home was spared and my next door neighbor had part of her roof damaged or another had her sun room blown out. Why the many thousands of the people of Texas, Florida and the Caribbean Islands are still reeling from the hurricanes that had devastating damage . I certainly can’t answer that question but I do know that God did not send this to us. In Nature there is a balance that needs to be maintained and when it isn’t, there are tragic consequences.

What I also know that God is there with us as we face these challenges. I also believe even though we don’t understand these events, it is up to us to respond with love and compassion. The goodness in people, which is of God, was on full display these weeks not only in Texas but in Florida. People helping people they didn’t even know. People inviting friends to stay in their homes as Mary Al did with us.

So today, it is important to thank God for walking this with us. One woman that I met this week summed it up so well “Irma was big but my God is bigger”. So today it is a time for thanks and praise.

For our sharing time, I would invite you to begin with a prayer of thanks and whatever comments you have.