By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Members of Quad-City law enforcement and other first responders — including fire, medic/EMS, corrections and dispatch — attended the annual Blue Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church on May 14. Family, friends and other supporters accompanied them. Bishop Thomas Zinkula presided at the Mass.
In his homily, the bishop said stories of order and of chaos fill the Bible; these are the stories of our lives. In Genesis, God created things in an orderly and harmonious manner. “But then came the fall. That happened because we chose to worship our own egos rather than God. This led to chaos and disorder.”
The bishop emphasized that order returns in one way or another. “All of this is in preparation for and leads up to the Pascal Mystery…. Jesus’ death is very chaotic. Jesus cries out in a loud voice and breathes his last (breath).” Darkness covers the land; the veil is torn in two and the earth quakes. Rocks split and tombs open. “But after three days, Jesus rises from the dead and establishes a whole new, everlasting order.
“… Police officers, fire fighters and other first responders are confronted on a daily basis with the disorder associated with life — accidents, sickness, injuries, fires and violence. These things cause fear, anxiety, sadness, suffering and hopelessness.
“Just as Jesus appeared to the anxious and terrified disciples and brought peace to them,” the bishop told the first responders, you “are disciples of Jesus Christ as you appear to people who are in need and do what you can to restore peace and order to tense situations.”
With the approach of the feast of Pentecost, “May Jesus breathe the Holy Spirit into your minds, hearts and lives so that you have the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Have wisdom, knowledge and understanding to make good decisions in the spur of the moment. Have courage, patience and self-control when you are in the midst of stressful and challenging situations. Finally, find the love, joy and peace of helping people who are in great need.”
A reception in Denning Hall followed Mass. Medic Terry Rawls said it felt good to be supported by the public. He also likes being able to meet up with other first responders he sees on calls. “It’s nice to see them outside work.”
Medic Brian Taylor said the Mass “brings us all together in the great community of faith.”