July 4, 2016
by Eileen Wirth
Creighton University's Department of Journalism, Media and Computing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 383

Hosea 2:16, 17c-18, 21-22
Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Matthew 9:18-26
Praying Ordinary Time

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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity and you shall know the LORD.

As I write this the day after the horrific shootings in Orlando, Fla., there must be countless people besides me who wish that God would prevent such atrocities if he loves us as much as today’s readings suggest.

Where was God when the gunman opened fire on all those innocent strangers? For that matter where was God when people were attending the Boston marathon or that concert in Paris? Where can people find God the next time a terrorist sets off a car bomb in a marketplace or civilians are caught in the crossfire of a civil war?

As I was asking these angry questions, I turned to “An Ignatian Books of Days” by Jim Manney consisting of short daily reflections on Ignatian spirituality. Today’s reflection came from “Finding God in Troubled Times” by my Creighton colleague and friend, Richard Hauser S.J. The timing was providential.

“We Christians do not have a fully satisfying explanation for why the world contains so much suffering. But we have something better: we have the power to deal with the suffering. We know where our God is during suffering. Our God is with us,” says Fr. Hauser.

Fr. Hauser wrote this marvelous book in trying to come to terms with an auto accident that killed a number of Creighton students and devastated the whole community. It has comforted thousands coping with suffering by giving people a way to understand how God helps them get through life’s worst moments.

We can envy the people in today’s Gospel whom Jesus healed. It would be nice if God addressed all our problems so expeditiously but mostly we need to pray that God will comfort those who suffer and grieve like the people of Orlando. We need to pray  that He will be with us not like Santa Claus or Superman but like a  friend or, yes, a loving spouse.

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