In the first reading of this weekend we hear the words, “On that day the mourning in Jerusalem shall be great as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.” Who would have ever thought that the words of the Prophet Zechariah (12:11) would, today, be so appropriate? The senseless events last Sunday morning in Orlando, leaving 50 dead and many more injured, saddens our hearts and challenges our sense of security. In the past, hate crimes and acts of terrorism have largely occurred far from our homes. Now, we find them on the very threshold of our community.
While it might be easy for any of us to be overcome by a myriad of possible feelings, Saint Paul’s admonition (Galatians 3:26-29) reminds us that we all are descendants of Abraham and heirs to the Promise. As we travel through time we come to understand more fully that in Christ all are called to be One. As Jesus tells his disciples (Luke 9:18-24) personal rejection and suffering are a part of maturity in faith. He further reminds them that beyond the Cross, where life is lost, there lies Resurrection where life is saved.
O God, whose Son, our Messiah and Lord, did not turn aside from the path of suffering nor spare his disciples the prospect of rejection, pour out your Spirit upon this assembly, that we may abandon the security of the easy way and follow in Christ’s footsteps toward the cross and true life.
And so, we pray for those who have died and for those who mourn their loss. We pray for those who were injured and for those who care for their needs. We give thanks for the many tender hearts of those who immediately responded professionally and personally. We also pray for a conversion of heart of those whose hearts are presently filled with hatred and violence.
We will welcome Father Ponce back to Clermont in the coming week. We are so happy that he will be with us throughout the coming summer months and returning to Uganda during the early days of September. We are all so very happy that you are with us!
I would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to those in our congregation that touch the lives of others with tender and paternal care. Your steadfast witness of care and strength give us each a steady hand and a courageous spirit!
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings.