Let us pray for the families in Newtown, Connecticut.
Lord, bring them consolation, courage, and peace – fortitude in the midst of inexplicable and unexpected grief.
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;
and 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. Amen
Recent events remind us of our brokenness as human beings. Senseless violence, especially against children, breaks the heart of every human who desires a world of peace and love. We all have multiple questions – questions that are ultimately one: Why? Why do bad things exist? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do bad things happen to people?
There are those whose hearts are so broken down that there must be a profound feeling that there is no way of finding consolation. This pain, I admit, must be unimaginable. Part of the tragedy is knowing that life can never be the same, again, for hundreds of people.
How deep the pain must be. Lord, have mercy. Holy Mary, Mother of God, hold your children in your arms and console us.
As people of faith, we remember that God calls us to a life of compassionate support for each other in moments of pain and crisis. We are called to witness to a way of living where such tragedy will have no place.
We remember that we are called to comfort the afflicted, be agents of healing, and be princes and princesses of peace.
Maybe, this Advent we are called to remember how necessary this journey towards the Prince of Peace is.
How do we worship God and witness to our faith in light of violence and death?
Wonder how we are willing to change our culture of violence?
Wonder how we will engage a constructive conversation about guns and the laws that regulate them?
Wonder how we are called to be witnesses of Jesus in a world marred by violence?
Wonder what lessons we need to learn about community in all its forms?
Wonder the lessons we are called to learn about life?
Advent invites us to take the recent events with us as we journey towards the birth of Jesus. Advent invites us to believe that the Prince of Peace will make the world more peaceful; if the world pays true homage to God.
Advent invites us to weep with those who weep.
Advent invites us to redouble our efforts to be channels of love, forgiveness and commitment to doing what is good, holy, and true.
Mark Bozzuti-Jones is the author of the Advent book, The Womb of Advent.