Words cannot express the emotions we feel for those who have lost loved ones in the tragic events of this day. Their entire lives have been unexpectedly and terribly turned upside down. In visiting this afternoon with two of the families affected by these shootings, Fr. Tom Ranzino and I shared prayer and support in the midst of their shock, horror and grief. Prayer is a powerful path to follow when tragedy happens, but even the most devout of us sometime question: “What good could come of this?” Only the Word of God has the answer to the questions that shake our faith: The answer is our Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus, hope ultimately triumphs over despair; love ultimately triumphs over hate; and resurrection ultimately triumphs over death. Standing firmly on the pillars of these eternal truths, we look to his words of promise in the Sermon on the Mount, and we recall two beatitudes that speak to the hope we should hold, especially today: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God,” and “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Mt. 5: 9, 4). We renew our call for a diocesan-wide week of prayer and fasting as we reflect on the events of the last several days, and as we work toward a lasting peace in our communities.
Photo: Vatican Radio/Reuters