These are just some of the words used to describe this past week’s events. I can’t even really comprehend what all has happened. The pain seems so senseless. It makes me wonder why God would allow such tragic things to happen to us.
I think one of the most terrifying things is that this could happen to anyone and any time. Our friends, our family, our own lives can be taken in an instant. It shows us how truly weak and defenseless we are in our human frailty.
But it’s through our weaknesses that God carries us through. Like St. Paul says, “for when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:10). It is when we have nothing left that God becomes our strength. It’s in these times that our strength comes from the One who is most powerful.
Fear of the world vs. Fear of the Lord
If we are true followers of Jesus Christ, then there really is nothing to fear. The only thing we have to be afraid of is not doing His will. In these wake of these tragedies, God has given us a choice. We can choose to be fear the world, or we can choose to be fear the Lord. Peace comes from choosing the latter.
The thing that God reminds us is that we need Him in every moment of our lives, not just when things are hard and don’t seem to make sense. A lot of times people say that God only gives us what we can handle, but I disagree. I believe that God gives us what we can handle, plus a little more. He does this to bring us to our knees. We are reminded that without Him, we can’t do anything. We need Him every single second of every single day.
Every day is a gift. Every moment is precious. Every moment is a chance to love God. Every moment is a chance to please the Creator of the universe.
What was your first response to hearing about these tragedies? I know that for a lot of us, the answer is prayer. That is because we know that, without God, we are nothing. At the same time, we know that with God, there is hope, there is love, there is peace, there is joy. With God, all things are possible.
So how can we respond to these tragedies? Show God’s love someone today. Be a testament of the joy that comes with being a child of God, in spite of the fear and evil in the world. Whether it be as big as giving blood to West, Texas, or as small as helping a co-worker out at work, show love to someone today. Life is too precious to let a moment to show God’s love to someone slip by.
I know it’s counter-intuitive and paradoxical, but I truly believe the most powerful response to tragedy is joy. And I don’t mean a fake, insincere smile masking the pain, I mean having true joy from knowing that there is a God and that He loves us because we are children of Him, created in His likeness. Our joy comes from knowing that, no matter what happens in our lives, good and bad, God has a plan for us, and it’s through following that plan we have a chance at eternal life.
What we lack
Our world lacks God’s love. As we can see from the Boston marathon terrorism (the religion of the men aside), there are so many people in this world that don’t know God’s Love. They become hopeless and act out on that hopelessness. What they don’t realize is that God is with them, and He loves them so much. They don’t know what it’s like to be loved by God. They don’t know what it’s like to love like God.
This is why we as Christians and as Catholics are called to show God’s love to the world. In order to prevent these kinds of tragedies, we have to show the world the Truth. The Truth comes from God, and the greatest tool of evangelization is joy. Let’s together attract people to joy rather than despair. Let’s show the world how to choose life instead of death.
I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and suffering the victims, their family and their friends are experiencing. I pray that God brings them back to Him. I pray that He brings peace to their hearts.
Please continue to pray for those in Boston and in West, Texas. Also, please pray for the souls of the men who caused the Boston Marathon tragedy.
“Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies.” – Pope Emeritis Benedict XVI