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Pastor's Column

Thoughts from Our Total Eclipse

Pastor’s Column

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 27, 2017

“For who has known the mind of the Lord,

or who has been his counselor?

Or who has given the Lord anything that he might be repaid?”

from Romans 11:33-36 (2nd reading this Sunday)

Because the Eclipse Day was also my day off, I had a chance to survey the news and reactions from the eclipse from across the country (Salem got the most attention because we were the first major city in totality). The most common reaction of people everywhere was that this was a spiritual experience. Honestly, it is hard to put one’s experience into words, but the dramatic drop in temperature during totality was a stark reminder of how very much we take for granted, like sunlight; how very dependent creatures we are, how fragile; but also the experience of God winking at us, almost as if he pulled back the heavens for a moment and spoke to so many hearts through this so called “cosmic coincidence”.

What struck me was that life was like the eclipse. That is, if eternity is represented by a sunny day in August, our brief time on earth might be compared to an eclipse; a brief moment in time. In the light of our eternal existence, our brief earthly sojourn is short indeed. Soon we shall find ourselves seeing the solar eclipse from the other side and when we are with God for the first time, beyond the stars we shall say, “So soon!” What did God say to you during the eclipse?

Father Gary

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