After our beloved New Orlean Saints made it into the SuperBowl this past weekend, there have been endless questions about the how they got there. I don't suppose this question is being asked of the Indianapolis Colts, it was to be expected. It didn't seem to matter they the Colts had a rocky start to the game or that they were behind for most of the game, the Colts are the Colts with the most beloved Peyton Manning, one of our town favorites, as quarterback and no one questions their abilities.
But the Saints....now that's a different story. This last game was not their prettiest win, nor was it their most well played, but win they did and they are going to the SuperBowl. Some people would say it was charma, kismet, luck, fate, destiny that the Saints would go to Miami this year. It was in the cards. Whatever the phrase of the minute, something had a hand in their going to the big game this year. Was it 'something' or 'someone'?
Our faith seeks understanding according to St. Anselm and if we delve far enough, that understanding always leads us back to a higher power that is not of our making. For Catholics that higher power is God, the One, the Good, the Beautiful, the Almighty God. It is through God that all gifts were made, that all gifts are given. God has had a hand in the outcome of the game because of the gifts He bestowed on those players. It becomes the responsibility of the player to hone the gift and to use the gift for the good of others. In this case it was for the good of a city beaten down and given up for lost. A city that has climbed back up from ruin and devastation and continues to climb and come back stronger. I always felt that New Orleans was given an opportunity to show others that you can come back, you can rebuild and you can be better. Isn't that what Baptism is all about? New Orleans has been washed clean and given new life.
In every interview I saw or heard, the players mentioned the city and the fans of New Orleans. It was for them they were playing their best, not for their own glorification, but to show a nation the city is stronger and a vital part of the country. That is the example "men for others". They have stumbled and fumbled but they never gave up, just like the city, they always came back stronger. It is for this reason that they will be the team to beat come February 7th. They are taking the gifts God has given them and using them to bring a city that was on its knees back to stand taller and prouder. So did God have a hand in the outcome of this game...you bet He did!