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Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Columbus Day (in U.S.A)

My dear encountered couples:

In the United States today we celebrate the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus. It was good news for the people of Europe, bad news for the Indians (Native Americans) and for those who later were brought over from Africa in chains. And because of that we find some people celebrating today, others decrying the injustices that resulted from Columbus accidentally ending up here instead of where he thought he was going. And that is the word I would like to focus on: “Accidentally!”

We give Columbus credit for discovering America which most of us who live here love very much and are grateful to him for. But on his part it was an accident. He really didn’t intend to be our real estate agent. But maybe God did. Does anything happen that God does not allow to happen for reasons he knows are best?

Our gospel reminds us of Jonah who tradition says was swallowed by a whale and then deposited on some unfamiliar beach. Was that an accident? Or was the whale intentionally steered by God to a shore where God wanted Jonah to bring good to the people there?

Let us not allow ourselves to get all worked up over things that happened in the past. Let us know history and learn from it, but deal with the present in which we live. Let us be grateful for the good in our lives, and do all we can to change the bad so that our children and grandchildren have a better world to live in.

This is Columbus Day. Let us thank God, who is always at the helm, for steering his boat here. God lets nothing happen that he is not able to make work out to the best for all concerned. This land is our home. Let’s all of us thank God and do our best to make it into an even better home for all who live here.

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