We are still grieving from the horrific news reported early Sunday morning from Orlando. This tragedy shakes us to our very core as a nation and makes us ask “how long, O Lord?” (Ps. 13) How long will we receive weekly reports on the news about mass shootings? O God, how we long for your peace which “surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) to give us comfort!
The news is all the more heinous because it was perpetuated out of hatred towards a group of people. Gay and lesbian individuals continue to be the focus of much violence, often times with hatred wrapped in religious language. Yet we know these actions are not of God, for “whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). As Christians a core tenant of our faith is to love for “we love because He first loved us” (1. John 4:19).
As we reflect on the terrible events of Sunday, let us pray for the victims. May God have mercy on them and may they rest in peace. Let us pray as well for their families and friends, that God may comfort them during this difficult time. We also pray for the injured, that they might receive healing. Finally, let us ask God to soften our hearts that we may love more and promote peace in our communities and in the world.
Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop of the Old Roman Catholic Church in America