And Now We Clean Up

Here in the South, it’s hard to find anything that can beat a good church supper. Everybody brings their favorite dish and the tables are laden with pies and casseroles and deviled eggs, with fried chicken and barbecue and potato salad. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. And almost as good as the food is the fellowship we share at the meal. It’s a time for relaxing and catching up on all the family news. Eating together strengthens our ties as a parish and allows us to become more connected with one another. It’s a celebration of our shared beliefs. There’s only one down side to a celebration like this, and I’m not talking about the calories. It’s the mess that has to be cleaned up once it’s all over.  

After that last piece of pie and cup of coffee are gone, there’s a lot of sweeping, tidying, and washing up still to be done. It’s like that after every big party. Think of all that confetti on Times Square on New Year’s Day. Or the cups and wrappers littering a Super Bowl stadium. When we celebrate, we make a mess. And somebody has to clean it up. That’s where we find ourselves this election week. Because no matter which person becomes our President, the time has come for a massive clean-up.  

Just like at church, there’ll be those who leave without lifting a finger. They like to eat (and take home more food for later) but you can’t count on them to help once dessert is over. And then there are those, and there are lots of these, who’ll gladly clear their own table and package up whatever is left of the food they brought to the meal. This is a big help and their role is a valuable one. And finally, there are the real workers, the ones who do the heavy lifting of church life. Your church has them and mine does too. They’re the army of workers who are always the last to leave. They clean, they scrub, they put away tables and chairs and they never seek any recognition or thanks. And yet I’ll bet you can name them all right now. I’m sure your pastor can That’s how important they are. 

We need these folks in our country right now. This election has left quite a mess that needs cleaning up. First off, realize that a good number have already opted out of the process. They’ve packed up and gone home to complain about how it all turned out. And they’ll feel smug about getting off “easy.” That leaves a lot of us left to do the cleaning up, We have a lot to do, We have to reach out to our friends and family who are angry about how the election turned out, This isn’t the time for gloating or name-calling. There’s room for everyone in the next 4 years, no matter who is President. Families and friends are bound by deeper ties than any political process. Don’t let the election be a stumbling block to love. Think about getting involved in the political process yourself. Be an election worker next time. Volunteer to work for a candidate that you support. Run for office! Pray for our new President and Congress, even if your party lost. Especially if your party lost.  

We’re blessed to live in the greatest country on earth, but that comes with responsibility. It’s up to each one of us to help heal the wounds that divide us at times like this. Never forget that America has been consecrated to Mary, the Mother of God. She will intercede for us always, if we ask her.  

God our Father,

Giver of Life,

We entrust America to Your loving care.

Reclaim this land for Your glory

And dwell among Your people.”



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