Posts Tagged ‘Tragedy’

Boston_Marathon_explosions_(8652971845)Again, tragedy has visited our nation.  Due to a senseless act of violence, at least 141 people are wounded and three people have lost their lives at the world famous Boston Marathon.

The same holds true for this unhappy circumstance as for the tragedy at Newtown, CT — there are no words sufficient to address the why of something so awful.

And yet there is still hope, and we must never forget that.

…the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

The Demidoff Altarpiece: Saint Stephen

I can’t help but reflect on the fact that the first readings for Catholic Daily Mass both yesterday (when the bombings happened) and today (which stands in the tragedy’s immediate wake) focus on the figure of St. Stephen, Christianity’s first martyr.  This morning, we read of his death by stoning for proclaiming the Gospel in Jerusalem:

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7: 59-60)

There is an obvious echo of Jesus’ words on the Cross here:

Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

In the face of such things as what happened yesterday in Boston, we often feel either despair or a twisted desire for revenge.  We must resist despair by reminding ourselves that we can — indeed, must — always do something, however little, to overcome the dysfunction of the world, and we must resist the impulse toward revenge by remembering that evil only begets more evil; evil can only be overcome by good, hatred only by love.

May we be imitators of St. Stephen, who boldly and tirelessly defended Truth and Goodness Himself, yet confronted hatred with forgiveness.

Here is a related article — short, and well worth your time if you have a chance to read it: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-urges-bostonians-to-combat-evil-with-good/

Images from Wikipedia

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