Can anything good come from a hurricane?

September 12, 2017

Just a couple of weeks ago, Southeastern Texas suffered the damaging effects of Hurricane Harvey.

While there were scenes of destruction, flooding and loss, we also witnessed countless signs of hope. Perfect strangers used their boats and trucks to rescue those unable to evacuate otherwise.

People of every background came forward to offer aid, reminiscent of the first Christians who divided their possessions among all according to each one’s need (Acts 2:44-45).

It was by this love that we may be recognized as Christians. Despite the death and destruction suffered in our area, we have been blessed with the generosity of so many from near and far, including tireless firefighters, Red Cross workers, military personnel, doctors, nurses and priests.

God’s own mercy has been shown to us by those who have comforted the afflicted, sheltered the homeless, fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and performed every other corporal and spiritual work of mercy.

Now as we enter the recovery phase in the aftermath of Harvey, we have the opportunity to share our own goods, time and talent, so that all may have their basic needs met.

This giving out of solidarity to others and gratitude for what we ourselves have received is a response to our call as Christians to share God’s love in the world.

We can respond through the aid of many local agencies who directly serve those most in need: Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul, Casa Juan Diego, Catholic Relief Services and many others.

You and I are called to do our part, however great or small that may be. Regardless of how we have fared personally, we can all pray for those affected. Those who are able may donate food, clothing and money, and even the youngest child can make cards to brighten the day of someone who has lost everything to remind them that they are not alone.

Christ remains with us. When Jesus slept in the boat while the violent winds and waves tossed it about, He restored calm when the disciples asked for his help.

In the same way, let us ask God to reestablish calm and peace in our lives even when it seems as though He might be sleeping and not responding in the way we would hope or like.

May we move forward confident that Christ will never leave us, and that He will give us the grace necessary for all that we face. 

Deacon Arturo Monterrubio is the director of the Archdiocesan Office of Family Life ministry.