We have all been saddened by the many natural disasters that have taken place in the last weeks and the manmade disasters in Las Vegas and Afghanistan these past days. We pray for those who have lost their lives so unexpectedly and we pray for all whose lives have been forever altered by these tragedies. In the face of so much suffering in our world today we are sometimes at a loss as to what to do.
We continue to support the many relief efforts that are underway to assist the victims of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean nations as well as the victims of the devastating earthquake in Mexico City. The response of Christ the King parishioners has been outstanding and I thank you for your outpouring of support and generosity. Our parish has a very good heart!
Manmade disaster are more difficult to comprehend. How do we respond to situations like the senseless mass shooting in Las Vegas that took the lives of at least fifty people and left hundreds wounded? As I reflect on all of this I think of the words of the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi who famously said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” In a world of violence and intolerance we must be people of dialogue and peace. As our American society becomes increasingly polarized, we must build bridges rather than burn them.
These events take place in the same week that we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. In the beautiful prayer that he left us he shows us a way forward. If we are to be the change we want to see in the world, we must be converted to the ways of the Gospel that he spells out so beautifully in his prayer.
Copies of the Prayer of Saint Francis are available in the vestibule this weekend and all are encouraged to take a copy home. I have always thought that we should memorize the Prayer of Saint Francis just as we memorize the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Act of Contrition. In the face of the violence and intolerance of our world, may we allow ourselves to be converted always more to the ways of the Gospel. As followers of Jesus, may we be the change we want to see in our world.
See you at Mass!