My experience of last week was a series of events, from the highlight of participating in the Progressive Dinner, enjoying dinner before the power was turned off for parts of the State, Bay Area and Almaden Valley on Saturday evening to celebrating my dad’s 100th birthday on November 2nd, Saturday, more on that celebration next week.
After dinner on Saturday we moved to another home for dessert and like many people we lost power, candlelight made the evening special, later sitting around a propane lit fire pit, enjoying conversation and then going back to the rectory in a darkened valley with hardly any street lights on.
Sunday morning was an adventure working with flashlights and lanterns preparing to celebrate Masses in a church with no power. It was not unlike the early primitive church when oil lamps provided lights in darkened places. Fortunately, there was enough daylight to make worship possible even with twilight on Sunday evening. Truly it was an inconvenience to be without power, leading to a reflection on those people who had to evacuate homes and businesses, uprooting routines and activities while fires burn throughout our state threatening lives and property. I dislike the term “our new normal” as Pope Francis and so many others have warned us it is not too late to do something to prevent a dire future.
There is much work to be done in our world to push us back from the brink, having the courage, fortitude and perseverance that will be key to avert unnecessary disasters. Over the centuries our ancestors were warned of pending disasters, some they heeded, others they ignored and ultimately suffered the consequences. For the most part it meant relocation and sometimes a resulting loss of life, but the people survived to live another day. As we look forward, we too need to see our lives in perspective as God sees our lives and pray that we can overcome humanities’ past sins, and seek repentance so that we might live, and future generations can have hope in a world where people can live.
O God we trust in your mercy and love, guide us in your wisdom with your grace to see the hard decisions ahead and take action in ways that we can. To ignore these warnings is to put our lives and the lives of others in peril. May we learn lessons from the past and put them into practice in the present.
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor