It seems as though we just cannot escape the tragic outcome of another person who succumbs to evil in an attempt to be understood by others. We live in a world busy with millions of people engaged in millions of activities, a world that seems to offer all that we could possibly desire and more. Yet some among us, even those with whom we share life at work, at home, at school or on the highway, in a hotel, or at a music concert, are broken, hurting and in pain. We are a fragile people. We think we are strong, but in fact many among us feel as though no one listens to them, no one cares and in that loneliness they turn to diabolical acts in an attempt to make known their need to be heard.
The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada is such an event. We awake on a Monday morning to hear heartbreaking news of people gunned down while gathering to socialize, sing, dance and enjoy one another’s company. The victims of the shooting in Las Vegas in many ways were sitting ducks for a person who somehow came to understand that the only way to make himself known was to massacre innocent and unsuspecting people believing perhaps this would what: Alleviate his pain? Get back at society? Make his name known for all time? What, we wonder, could possibly motivate a person to do such a thing? This man was not affiliated with a terrorist group who taught him to hate and kill. So what happened? And how can we assist in stopping this kind of tragic event or others like it, from ever being experienced again?
I will say it again; we are a fragile people, a people who above all else have an innate need to be loved. Every person on this earth is made in the image and likeness of God; God who is love. We are hard wired to be a person of love. However, we are also human, not divine. Without the love of others with whom we share life, we cannot become the person God intended we be. So it makes perfect sense, does it not, that the most important message that Jesus brought to us was the Greatest Commandment: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor is every other human being in this world, those that you live with daily, those whom you pledge your love to in marriage and family AND those who you share space with on this earth each and every day, whether you have met them face to face or not.
It is time for us all to look in the mirror. Do we see there a reflection of God’s love? Do we see there a person who truly loves others? Do we see reflected a heart of mercy and compassion and love for all of God’s people? Do we care about all the people of the world or just those who are like us? Will that person in the mirror be able to stand confidently in the presence of God and answer; I did all I could do to love you and to love your people? Let us pray. Let us never cease to pray for the wisdom, the strength and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be with us each and every day that we might grow in our ability to love as Jesus taught us to love. We can only imagine how beautiful our world would be! Perhaps we might come to know how beautiful a world God intended there be; if only we could love.
Confident of God’s love, Deb Rudolph
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC