A pastoral message about the election from Father Nils

Although I am a US resident, I am not a citizen, so I wasn't able to vote yesterday. If I'd had a vote I would have had no difficulty whatsoever in deciding how to use it. 

That having been said, I am a parish priest and I believe that it is important that I recognize that in our congregation and our community are people who voted for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton or for neither and did so motivated by the best of intentions for the common good of our country and world and who wish to see justice and righteousness prevail and people flourish. It is my earnest hope and prayer that, whether in victory or in defeat, you will be magnanimous, gracious and kind to your fellow human beings, many of whom may feel uncertain about what happens next.

And what does happen next? We have to ask this question because, whichever candidate we voted for, this election campaign and its outcome are - and have been throughout -  very far removed from normality. Uncertainty is the new certainty, and that is unsettling for everyone, of whatever political stripes.

At a time like this, more than ever, the Church needs to be true to the essence of its calling, and to recognize that every single person on earth - including all those for whom we may have the lowest regard - is made in the very image and likeness of God and is infinitely precious to him. 

Jesus Christ - the embodiment of the Word of God - is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and for ever. Whatever happens, that is one thing that will never, ever change - no matter what.

So what happens next? We carry on being Christians. We carry on living the Way of Christ, which means that we love God, we love our neighbor as ourselves, which means that we forgive seventy times seven (a metaphor for infinity), that we remember that only the one without sin may cast the first stone, that we do not repay evil with evil, that we feed the hungry, that we care for the sick, that we clothe the naked, that we house the homeless, that we welcome the stranger in our land, that we do not judge others, that we visit those in prison and that we love others in the same way that God loves us - without condition, reservation or partiality.

In the words of Mother Julian of Norwich, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well".