What can one say? What more can one do than pray?
From Christopher Smith:
But for now, there is only lament, as this tragedy is us. We have sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind. Now is not the time for strategizing why this happened or how we can fix the social evils in which this tragedy had its roots, but only for grieving this tragedy and crying out to God.
From James Martin, SJ:
Jesus asks us to love our enemies, not to murder them; to pray for them, not to take vengeance; and he commends the peacemakers among us, not those advocating for more and more and more weapons.
Was Jesus naïve? I wonder about that. I often marvel how some Christians can say that in one breath, and proclaim him as the Son of God in the next. Apparently, some believe that the Second Person of the Trinity didn’t know what he was talking about. But Jesus lived in a violent time himself, under the heel of Roman rule in an occupied land, when human life was seen as cheap. Jesus witnessed violence and was himself the victim of violence—the most famous person to suffer the death penalty. It was not only divine inspiration but also human experience that led him to say: Blessed are the peacemakers.
Why am I saying this now? Not because I want to score political points. But because this week’s shootings horrified me, and reminded me of the need for religious people who stand for life, and for churches who stand for life, to stand for life at all times.