July 15, 2016

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Today the world grieves over the latest, terrible violence and death inflicted on so many innocent people in Nice, France. Last evening, as the number of victims mounted as the hours passed, I don’t think I was alone in asking God, “Why do You allow such carnage? Why do the innocent have to suffer from such evil?” This is a prayer that has echoed down the centuries from Job until our own day.

Yet, it is important to remember that the wars and violence of the past were no less daunting to the people of their time than the present suffering of our own. The difference, of course, is the instantaneous dissemination of images which flood social media and news outlets as they did last evening, images which add to our sense of helplessness and fear.

As Christians we must never lose sight of the hope we place in our Lord. The image of Christ crucified which caused His own disciples to be afraid is the eternal sign of our hope in the redemption He won for us. Jesus never abandons His people. As Christians we offer our solidarity with these latest victims of terrorism while we proclaim our hope in the transforming power of Christ’s love. It is His love which will bring peace that will cast out all fear and despair.

Let us pray for all victims of terrorism and violence and claim for them the blessing of peace that only Christ can give.

Reverend Jude DeAngelo, O.F.M. Conv
University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry