Sunday, as America began to deal with the horrific aftermath of mass shootings at a food festival in California, a Walmart in Texas, and a downtown street in Dayton, Ohio, Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital stopped accepting patients because the trauma center was overwhelmed by shooting victims. They literally ran out of beds. Something’s wrong.
If you live with insanity long enough, insanity becomes your norm. For Americans, mass shootings have become our norm. Many have actually grown numb to the continual news broadcasts of the ever-increasing numbers of innocent people who are killed by lunatics with assault weapons. It’s just another day in the good ole USA.
From domestic terrorism to gang warfare, the common threads in each of these acts of violence is a complete disregard for human life and unmitigated, uncompromising evil. And for those who perpetrate these unspeakable acts of violence, it is the conclusion of a journey down the road of hatred and evil. This is not our way.
For those who follow Jesus Christ, we do not have the right to look at others with hatred and contempt. This is why love is the answer.
The wisest of all people said: “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” (Proverbs 10:12) In other words, you cannot be faithful to God and subscribe to hate.
While the government can pass laws, it is not able to legislate morality, decency, or love. While our teachers in schools do the best they can to help their students understand what is right and wrong, they are not allowed to invoke the name of the One who offers true healing and a life with a legitimate holy purpose. And no matter how much policing social media sites do, they will never be able to erase all the incendiary language that feeds and nourishes the hatred of xenophobes. This is where Christians can make a difference.
I am convinced that God wants to use us to heal our broken world and draw people to him. This can only be done by living in love when it is easy, and also when it is incredibly hard.
Demonstrating to others that there is a better way is what will bring peace to our hurting world.
Prayer of Saint Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
I pray that your day is filled with joy and laughter.