16th Sunday of the Year Year C

Nice is a lovely place. It has one of those airports where you head out to sea and turn around to fly in, lower and lower, over the waves to land just at the end of the Promenade des Anglais. As you land there are spectacular views of the Promenade and the people enjoying their time there.

Bastille Day is the National French Holiday where families gather and in places like Nice, Fun Fairs, Firework displays, stalls and street entertainment are available to make the day special. At 10.30pm those families would have been enjoying the warmth of the festival.

But then it all went wrong and, for whatever motivation, a man drove a heavy lorry through the crowds leaving at least 84 people dead and many more injured.

Our reaction is one of horror, fear and incredulity. It stirs up a xenophobic reaction in many people and the spiral of hatred is recharged.

But not everybody, and, as in so many other places where these tragedies are played out, this is the time when people of all denominations and none, gather to find comfort and healing in the spirit of prayer. They sit in darkness together, shattered only by candle light, play soothing music together and cry tears of grief together for those who have died and those injured.

Human beings can do terrible thing to their fellows, but humanity struggles on listening for that still small voice to speak words of Hope again. God never stops loving despite the chaos, never stops asking us to love again.

Just a thought!