BY JAMES MARTIN SJ
Millions of people on the East Coast of the US were frightened as Hurricane Sandy made landfall last week. Frightened of many things: terrible damage from the wind and water, especially the surging, recor d-breaking tides; widespread power outages that may last for days; the potential loss of potable water; and, even more serious concerns like caring for a sick loved one.
In these times, it’s is easy and natural and human to be frightened. It’s not a sin to be frightened. Listening to the rising wind outside my own window is not the most comforting thing in the world.
But there are resources for those who fear. For me, the Gospel passages I turn to most when I’m frightened are the Annunciation and the Storm at Sea.
In the story of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38), Mary, a young woman in the backwater town of Nazareth, is visited by the angel Gabriel, who will soon tell her that she is going to give birth to a child. Now, people facing the brunt of Hurricane Sandy might wonder what this gentle Gospel reading has to do with their problems and worries.
Well, when the angel first greets Mary, the Gospel tells us that Mary is “perplexed” or “greatly disturbed.”
Fear and hope in the storms (James Martin / America)