We gather together today all over this country as the people of a great nation. What we have undergone this week is a tragedy of immense proportions. Thousands of people mourn the loss of friends and loved ones killed or missing. All of us mourn the devastation we have witnessed. Thousands of others are busily at work doing all that is necessary to care for the injured, find the lost, and recover the dead. In the midst of this tragedy there have been great stories of heroism and compassion. Loving acts of people caring for one another, sacrificing for one another, holding each other up. In the midst of this tragedy I find great solace and comfort in these stories of hope, pay attention to them.
As a people of faith, now is the time to hold tightly to our God, to pray for peace and to push for justice. As a people of faith, we are called to live in love and not in hatred. As a people of faith, we are called to strive for justice and to right the wrongs that have been done to thousands of innocent people. The people who have done this to our nation are angry and evil. Now the question becomes, how in our anger are we going to do what is right? How in our rage are we going to confront the wrongs done to us without becoming like the very enemies who would seek to destroy us? As a people of faith, pray that those who make our nation’s decisions and those who carry them out might be guided by God’s grace.
It is easy to hate. It is hard to love. Pray that we might confront evil with goodness and soften hatred with God’s love. Finally, this week reminds us that our lives can all change in the blink of an eye. The present moment is all we really have. Reach out to your friends, hold your loved ones a little closer, and give thanks to God for your life and your good fortune. It is time to hold together and stand strong. God bless America. Amen.