I was starting down a different path for this piece. And then the news of the school shooting in Texas hit and on the heels of the horror in Buffalo.
Tuesday was the 199th mass shooting THIS YEAR, 2022, 27 of which were at schools. In 2021 there were 693, six-hundred ninety-three, mass shootings in this country. My head is whirling in all directions wondering what is there for me to think, let alone to say that could possibly be of any use at this moment? I certainly do not have any adequate words. I’m frightfully angry, I’m desperately sad, and even with my own heart nearly in spasm as my own personal losses over the years are suddenly shaking through me, I cannot begin to fathom the level of agony for the parents, siblings, grandparents, classmates, teachers, police and rescue workers, and more, or the family of the 66 year old woman who also died now, and in all the other times and places. “Tragedy” just isn’t a big enough, deep enough word to hold this or describe it.
All I can think to do is to offer the words of the Gospel for this Sunday, the 7th Sunday of Easter:
“I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them and I in them.” ~ John 17:20-26 [emphasis mine]
O Saving Lord, Jesus our Christ, guide us by Your Love, to all be as One with You and each other. Amen.
The Episcopal Church Responds to Recent Gun Violence
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Every week, Christina Brennan Lee writes the Prayers of the People we use in our worship services on Sundays. She also leads weekday prayer services. Click here to see her People’s Prayers website.