An Unexpected Election’s Unexpected Result

November 12, 2016

As regular readers know, I do not comment on politics here in this blog, nor do I do so in church. I think I am entirely consistent in this policy, and quite genuine. You may guess my views, but it would only be a guess; no clues, no winks or nods going on here.

That said, I would acknowledge, along with much of the electorate, my surprise at both this election and its surprising result. It remains to be seen what kind of reactions it will elicit. We were in Detroit this week and there were street protests in front of our hotel. News reports followed similar demonstrations in many major cities. Lots of unhelpful things have already been said, on both sides of the aisle, with the promise of more to come. After a long and bitter campaign season, the prospect of more contention moving forward is discouraging to say the least.

Our parish leadership team had a brief discussion about what, if anything, would be said at Mass this weekend. I always regret when there is a huge disconnect between what people are thinking about/talking about in the community, and what we are talking about in church. It makes us look so irrelevant. Something should be said, of course, but what? Without entering into the political discourse, what should be said?

At the risk of sounding like the churchguy, with the one-size fits all churchanswer, the answer, of course, is prayer. We can pray for the President-Elect and his transition team. We can pray for the new administration and all elected officials. We can pray for those who feel disappointed in this election and those who feel disenfranchised. And we can pray for our nation.
We can pray for civility and goodwill in all public discourse, respect for life always, and respect for diversity and differences for everyone, everywhere.

This weekend at all our Masses, these will be our prayers.

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