20th January 2021

Watching the swearing in of the new president, I remember having open house at the university to watch Obama’s first election in 2008. Most of the students were delighted with the result, but not all. Two young Catholics from Colorado, keeping quiet, could not imagine voting Democrat because they believed they were generally pro abortion. For them if you were a Catholic you would always have to vote Republican. It was the first time I realised the divisions not just in America but also in the American church. So it was good to hear President Biden’s Catholic Chaplain today remind us of what the Pope has said recently. That together we can dream productively for the future, but if we try to do this alone and divided we end up with not dreams but mirages. Whatever we may think or believe we need to find a common cause, as the Chaplain said, to seek the common good. That is something we need to remind ourselves here sometimes, just as President Biden said about America, that together we will overcome all the things that challenge us today, and that we have to have hope and have faith that with God’s help we will come through this. That even though we may not return to life as it was exactly, that could be a good thing as we may have discovered in undergoing this pandemic how society is not just for so many and that we need to heal ourselves not just of coronavirus but also of some of the social wounds and injustice that many in our society feel.

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