Great Wind and Loving Water


Convivium, 14 September 2017

Convivium editor-in-chief Father Raymond J. de Souza reflects on the spiritual significance of water in light of the recent hurricanes that have been raging. 

In Canada and the United States, we live so far from the Biblical world that on occasion we have to remind ourselves of that fact simply to understand the sacred Scriptures properly. Hurricanes can be such a reminder.

How far do we live from the Biblical world in which Jesus preached? We are told, for example, that the gospel is “good news for the poor”. How is it good news then for us, who are the wealthiest one per cent of all peoples who have ever lived? Even those who are poor among us are not the Biblically destitute. We are told many parables about crops and livestock. What does that mean for us, when almost none of us farm, and perhaps don’t even know many who do? Jesus preaches to a people living under foreign occupation who extracted a heavy burden of taxes.  What does that mean for us who live in a democracy in which our governments spend more on public services than they tax?

Perhaps the greatest contrast between the early 21st century and the early first century is our relationship to nature. We have largely domesticated nature, and think something terrible has happened when the weather turns fiercely against us, when a winter storm blows hard or, as in recent weeks, hurricanes make landfall.

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