Monday, March 23, 2020


I want to share with you the best sermon I have heard in a long time in case you missed it. It is Bishop Mariann Budde's homily of yesterday, 22 March, at the Washington National Cathedral. 

The theme of yesterday's church readings was seeing. We see in different ways, we know in different ways. In this dark hour of pandemic, our world has turned upside down in so many ways. We see darkness and tragedy descending on us. No one wanted this crisis. No one made it. Yet it is here. Budde says if we are open to seeing things differently, we can respond in positive ways to the challenge that we may not be able to imagine now. We can make good come out of what seems to be all bad. These are words we need to hear right now. They certainly moved me to "see" our time of crisis in a new light.  

In my opinion, this is the sermon of the hour. These are the words we need to hear at this critical moment. I think it will help you also to "see" our dark hour in a new "light."

Find Budde's eloquent sermon here .

On an historical note, it is useful now to recall the Black Death. Bubonic plague descended on Europe in 1347. It was by far the worst pandemic in recorded history. A bacterial infection, it swept through every place as wildfire tormenting and killing people right and left. It is estimated that between 30 and 60 percent of Europeans died. It was so horrible and lethal that people commonly believed it was the end of the world. In a sense it was the end, of a world, but soon thereafter dawned a new world that people in the Fourteenth Century could not have imagined, what we know as modern civilization. Soon came the Renaissance (rebirth) and Reformation (reform). Along with those came the modern nation state, modern capitalism, the origins of modern science and technology, the great voyages of discovery and exploration, and so forth. The Black Death was unimaginably destructive but it was not the end of the world. 

While we bear in mind thoughts of the past and the future, however, we must now confront this plague and do all we can to stop its spread and alleviate the misery it is inflicting on people's lives everywhere. Peace.