Floods, The Good Shepherd, and Mother's Day
Currently, the people of Mattawa are experiencing the harsh power of nature. Though beautiful and majestic, nature is also impersonal and impartial. The rivers don’t care where we have built our homes and businesses or what people might lose in the rising waters.
Though difficult and painful, a flood is also a powerful reminder of the nature of reality and what is most important in life. We are reminded that we are not really in control of this world. Despite all of our advancements in science and technology, we don’t determine the weather. We can influence its effects with dams and dikes, but, ultimately, we are not in control. This is true of many aspects of our lives. Whether it’s the financial markets, health, the choices of our neighbours, or the weather, we often trick ourselves into thinking that we have more influence than we actually do. It can be challenging, even terrifying, to think about how we would react if our world were turned upside down by radical changes in things that are out of our control.
The response of so many people in Mattawa to the flood has been heartening. Neighbours helping each other through the crisis by filling and piling sand bags, preparing meals, staying up all night working, and whatever else needs to be done to persevere are all acts of neighbourly love. May God bless and reward all of those who have looked beyond their own needs and concerns to help others in need.
This weekend, in the Church, we are celebrating “Good Shepherd” Sunday. When faced with a crisis, it’s natural to ask, “Where is God in this situation? How can He allow this to happen?” The answer is all in recognizing what is most important in life. If our relationship with God and reaching heaven are what we value most, then any crisis, no matter how tragic, can be seen as a way to bring us closer to God. God is the “Good Shepherd”. He desires what is best for us, and He gives us everything that we need to be at peace and joyful.
This weekend we also celebrate Mother’s Day. For each of us, life began in our mother’s womb. We grew and were nurtured within her. There is no underestimating the value of a mother’s love for her child and the importance of that love in our formation as children up into adulthood. May God bless all mothers and give them the courage to love their children as Our Blessed Mother loved Jesus – a self-sacrificing love that nurtured Him, but, at the appropriate time, sent Him out into the world to fulfill His vocation.