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Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on Newtown, CT

The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is one that makes all of us pause in shock and disbelief. How could this happen? How could someone just randomly shoot others, particularly children? As I have been reading the updates on the internet, the words from Tuesday’s first reading from Isaiah are echoing in my head: “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1) Like those before us awaiting the birth of Jesus, we are in need of healing, peace and joy as we await the Lord’s return. The darkness seems to once again be the victor of the day, hope has taken a hit. Our reaction is the same as it would have been 2,000 years ago: disbelief, despair, anger, resigned to a belief that evil trumps goodness. Yet, even this tragic event can’t hide God. I’m reminded of a quote I heard someone say in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings: “Even in the midst of evil, the face of Christ shines through!” Where is Jesus? Doing what Isaiah said: giving comfort. He was the teachers and staff who tried to stop the tragedy as it unfolded. He was the police officers and rescue personnel running into the school. He was the parent, teacher, staff person, neighbor, sibling consoling a young child. He is posting messages of condolence on Facebook and Twitter. One of the effects of baptism is it makes us other Christs in our world. We are his hands, his eyes, his voice and his heart in the midst of this unspeakable tragedy. In order to be sure that we are authentic to this identity, we need to be sure we remain connected to Him. We can’t handle all of this on our own. We need the support and love of others. We need to spend time with Him to unload the burden we carry. We need to hear his words of comfort and hope, his message and promise of love. We need to let his light overtake the darkness in our hearts, that we may bring that light to overtake the darkness that exists in our world. May the Lord bless the families who are suffering this day. May the souls of the departed rest in peace. St. John of the Cross, pray for us!

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