News media faced their most difficult challenge this past week – covering more than one major story at a time.
A week ago, cameras and commentators flocked to London to cover the Royal Wedding. We heard about HER dress and the tragic history of HIS parents. We saw the pomp and circumstance, the goofy characters camped out to get a good view and the trinkets being hawked to “commemorate” the occasion.
The following day – Divine Mercy Sunday – the media shifted its focus to Rome, where Pope John Paul II took a big step toward sainthood. The media predicted smaller crowds and showed up and spent much time analyzing whether he really deserved to be a saint and whether the process was moving too fast.
Late that same day, the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist was announced. The media scrambled to Washington and Pakistan, trying to determine how he was found. And who were the members of the elite military team who sent him to meet his maker? Should he have received a religious burial? Should pictures of his body be released? Should water boarding be allowed?
The media presented a soup of speculation and disjointed details. The real news of the week was the perseverance of hope.
Let’s start with the Royal Wedding. Frankly, I’m not much of a fan of kings, queens, titles and the sort of “rank” they try to stand for. But I do believe that beyond princess fantasies, the interest in this event represents the underlying belief in marriage between a man and women who love each other and have an opportunity to live happily ever after.
Yes, there is a certain fantasy in that, as any married couple can testify. There are unhappy times. But love sustains us in those times and belief runs deep in our hearts that married love is more than a fantasy – it is a taste of God’s love for us.
And the beatification of John Paul? That, too, is about love and hope. He lived a life of leading others to Christ, proclaiming the Good News, a life of BEING Christ to everyone he touched. He WAS hope.
And the death of an evil man? Well, I’m glad that this person can no longer plot to kill innocent people, although I’m not comfortable dancing in the street about it. His life was a testament to the fallen nature of humanity – but his encounter with justice gives us hope that evil will be challenged. Although his final judgment we leave to God, humanity has not lost its willingness to distinguish good from evil and act accordingly.
It was a week of remarkable events. The world is a better place today than it was a week ago. You likely won’t read that in a headline. But I have hope.
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