It’s interesting how things are interpreted as “signs” in different ways, if they are interpreted as signs at all.
For example, it started to rain (sprinkle) just as President Trump took the inaugural stage, the sky vault-gray. This, pronounced Evangelical preacher Franklin Graham (son of Billy), was a sign of an anointing. (“Mr. President, in the Bible, rain is a sign of God’s blessing. And it started to rain, Mr. President, when you came to the platform.”) See Leviticus 26: 3-10.
In other circumstances, it is the parting of clouds, and the shining through of the sun, that have been seen as a positive augur.
In Toronto, the sun came just as the Holy Father began the liturgy at Youth Day in 2002. (Years before, however, in 1987, we recall the altar stage blowing over before a papal Mass in New Orleans when John Paul II visited the U.S., perhaps a sign of warfare.)
The sun also has pierced through vaulted skies for the current Pope, and there have been rainbows, although there was also the famous lightning bolt, striking St. Peter’s, the day Pope Benedict announced his retirement. How to discern!
Is it something to discern?
In September 2015, as The Washington Post showed us [below], what looked like a rainbow “right over the Pope’s location in New York City on Friday,” said the paper. “It was a beautiful sight, but it wasn’t a rainbow. It was something much more interesting. The beautiful display of color in the sky over the pope was actually a circumzenithal arc.”
Once, lightning caused his microphone to go dead just as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, during a primary, was taking issue with a bishop over abortion. (That seemed easy enough to discern.)
But what about last week, when now former-Vice President Joe Biden was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He was rendered a dark silhouette when electricity went out as he spoke about U.S. leadership in the world.
“We are going to retain our position of leadership,” Biden was telling the audience, when the lights on stage began to dim. (“If we don’t fight for our values, no one else will,” he said from the darkness.)
As with other such circumstances, as with mirabilia, as with alleged seers and their proclamations, we report. You discern. If discern you are able.
[Meanwhile, was there, as some saw, a face on the stairs behind Reverend Graham?]
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