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Manchester Bombing: Another Dark Day

 

Another Dark Day

Leader: Many of us awoke to the news of the suicide bombing in the British city of Manchester. We decry this senseless act of violence and are deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life. The night’s explosion at a pop concert claimed the lives of 22 people, injuring dozens, including many teenagers and school-aged children.

All: May we not only extend heartfelt solidarity to all those affected by this senseless act of violence but work to uproot the hatred growing in people’s hearts. 

Leader: This deadly attack is being described as “… the latest in a long string of attacks that have maimed multiple European cities in the past year. From trucks being driven into crowds to shootings and stabbings, the effort to strike fear into the heart of people across Europe has morphed into different forms.”1

All: May we not only extend heartfelt solidarity to all those affected by this senseless act of violence but work to uproot the hatred growing in people’s hearts.

Leader: Etched in our collective memory are the cries of grieving parents who are still looking for their children who have not returned home. We hear the cries of one of the many mothers who appealed on social media and television to help locate her daughter. Who, we must ask, will be the mother next week?

All: May we not only extend heartfelt solidarity to all those affected by this senseless act of violence but work to uproot the hatred growing in people’s hearts.

Leader: We hear the all too familiar questions: “What is going on? Why is terrorism spreading? Why are our children becoming the target of terrorism? Why are our children becoming instruments of terror?”

All: May we not only extend heartfelt solidarity to all those affected by this senseless act of violence but work to uproot the hatred growing in people’s hearts.

Leader: We struggle to grasp what would entice or motivate a young man to become a suicide bomber and to engage in an act of barbarity. We must ask ourselves: “How have we failed all those who are harboring hatred in their hearts—those who choose death over life?”

All: May we not only extend heartfelt solidarity to all those affected by this senseless act of violence but work to uproot the hatred growing in people’s hearts.

Leader: During times of violence, we bear witness to the humanity and compassion of the global community—from emergency workers to local communities who now begin the long process of healing and reconciliation.

All: May we not only extend heartfelt solidarity to all those affected by this senseless act of violence but work to uproot the hatred growing in people’s hearts.

Leader: When the temptations of hatred and revenge touch our hearts, may we find strength in Pope Francis’s words, “...this path of going out from casuistry to truth and mercy is not easy: It takes the grace of God to help us to go forward in this way. We should always ask for it: Lord, grant that I might be just, but just with mercy. …But what is more important in God? Justice or mercy?’ This, too, is a sick thought, that seeks to go out… What is more important? They are not two things: It is only one—only one thing. In God, justice is mercy and mercy is justice. May the Lord help us to understand this street [we walk] is not easy, but which will bring us happiness, and will make so many people happy.”2 Lord, grant that we may be just, but just with mercy. Amen.

 

—Dianna Ortiz, O.S.U.

 

Endnotes

1 “Manchester Bombing the Latest in a Year of Terrorist Attacks in Europe,” by Kevin Lui. Time Magazine, May 23, 2017, http://ti.me/2qdqoIs.

2 “Pope Francis: In God there is both justice and mercy,” Vatican Radio, February 24, 2017, http://bit.ly/2rdA4Hs.


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