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Remarks in the wake of the Election
November 8, 2020


My friends, before we begin Mass this morning, I feel the need to say something about the events of this past week.

We have been through a long and bruising election season, an election unlike any of us can remember. Some are elated about the outcome and others are disappointed and even angered by it. One thing is certain: no one is without feelings about what happened on Tuesday and about the results that came in yesterday. And we bring those feelings along with us to Mass this morning. There is no way we cannot.

And so, for some, our prayer this morning is one of gratitude and hope; for others, our prayer will come from a place of sadness and distress. But, for all our differences – our different points of view, different political affiliations, and different convictions about our country and its direction – for all our differences, there is so much that unites us. We wouldn’t be here if that were not the case. No matter what our differences may be, we are sisters and brothers - part of the same Church, part of the Body of Christ, part of this wonderful community of faith called St. James Cathedral parish. And that, more than anything, needs to be in our minds this morning as we gather for prayer - that, and an awareness that we all care deeply about our country and want only the best for it—no matter how we voted.

And, my friends, we have something more in common, too: we all believe in the power of prayer and, to quote the poet, “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Not everyone believes that, but we do.

And so, we pray. We pray earnestly and honestly. We pray from our joy, we pray from our pain. We pray with confidence to the God who loves each of us beyond measure, we pray to the God for whom the differences that to us seem great and even insurmountable are really quite inconsequential when viewed against the great backdrop of God’s plan for the human family. God’s plan is for us to love one another; God’s plan is for us to build communities of love; God’s plan for us is to embrace the voiceless and the vulnerable - those on the margins and in the shadows who have no one to embrace them. God’s plan is for us not only to embrace them but also to work for a better world where they are valued, accepted, loved. In doing so, we will be building God’s kingdom - making God’s kingdom come - which is what we pray for every time we recite the Lord’s Prayer. And, my friends, those are things we can all agree on, no matter what our politics may be, things we can all work together to bring about. It’s what we have been doing for a long time at St. James Cathedral, and I am confident that we will continue that great work!

May our prayer this morning be a step in that direction. May it begin to bring about healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.

And may it bring to our President-elect and to all those who were elected to public office this past week, wisdom, courage, compassion, and a deep commitment to the values that make this nation great.

Lastly, may our prayer help bring our nation, so deeply divided and wounded, to a reawakening, to a belief and a conviction that the great gifts given us so long ago by our Founders are not spent or forgotten: that the great American Dream is still alive and that we are the ones who can make that dream come true.

Let me conclude with the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln spoken so long ago at his first inaugural:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory…will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched…by the better angels of our nature.

Father Michael G. Ryan





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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303