PASTORAL THOUGHT

2-18-18

 

            Football is a little like war. You fight for your “country” on every play. You depend on the guys around you, everyone has an important task. You feel exalted at victory. And you don’t forget the old “war stories” decades later. And yes, people get hurt:  you play at certain risk.

            The Eagles’ Super Bowl victory has lifted up the Delaware Valley beyond any previous event. Strangers were hugging each other; depressed people were high-fiving; one man brought the ashes of his father and grandfather to the victory parade, because they had died, hoping to see the Great Day, but never seeing it.

            It is wonderful to see such a huge part of the population united in the same loyalty. There is so much partisan hostility in politics, so much rancor in groups who feel mistreated or neglected. Racism still smolders and sexism, too. Even within religion—differences can alienate. For a short, shining time—from months before the Super Bowl, and one afterward, we are united in one love—Fly Eagles Fly!

            Let’s look at what unites us beneath the filmy distortions that separate us. Sports is a lower level of loyalty than politics, let alone faith. But the Eagles’ superb achievement brought a love-fest, a celebration of neighborliness. We see what is possible through sports; we do even better through our common humanity, our common citizenship and-among all religions—our faith in God, as we know Him. Why shouldn’t we?

                                                            Father John Hynes