It was bracing, to say the least, when I checked the “Outside Temp” reading on our home thermostat in the pre-dawn hours this morning. (-1) it said. Then I got in the car…and watched, with bemusement, as the mercury dipped lower and lower throughout my short jaunt up the road.
By the time I pulled into the parking lot for 6:30 Mass, the red number had reached its lowest level (at least, for these parts) in years: a frosty (-4), all courtesy – we were told – of the Polar Vortex.
It sounded a bit like Armageddon, I’ll admit: A sure sign that “climate change” had shifted into high gear…and was preparing to wreak havoc on this year’s crops…and/or unleash atmospheric turmoil for generations to come.
Could be the case, I suppose. The vortex, however, turns out to be nothing new.
No less an authority than the US government assures us that the vortex “ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in the summer and strengthens in the winter.” And every so often, it’s been known to send a chill down our collective spine in North America – including record-setting arctic blasts in 2014, 1989, 1985 and 1982.
(Most of those calendar years, I note [save 1989], then led to red-hot records for my beloved StL Cardinals…so beware, NL Central & MLB. But I digress.)
That whole notion of a Potent Force – always present, ever lurking, fully capable of transformative action – stirred in my heart as I reflected on the readings we’ve been hearing lately from the Letter to the Hebrews at daily Mass.
Christ, the mediator of a new covenant…now appearing before God on our behalf.
[T]his One offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now He waits until His enemies are made His footstool.
In the Vortex, I find an intriguing reminder of the ever-patient, eternal power wielded by our Lord and Savior. Christ’s saving grace may not always be obvious amidst the travails of everyday life…but it’s certainly there.
It’s the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. So for those who await the coming of the Holy One, you might say we can expect an outcome that is truly cool, indeed.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.