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AFFIRMING AN INCLUSIVE PRIESTHOOD, ROOTED IN A REFORMED AND RENEWED CHURCH

Making Sense of Man's Inhumanity to Man

 Hank Mattimore 347776

Making Sense of Man’s Inhumanity to Man
by Hank Mattimore

If one of the major tasks of old age is to make sense of life, I flunk.

For starters I can’t begin to comprehend the isolation, the loneliness the rejection that drove a young man to plan and execute the brutal murder of 17 human beings, most of them his own peers. My eight decades of life experience can’t tell me why.

Like so many of us, the word “disheartened” comes to mind. Our humanity is sickened, “dis-heartened” as though our hearts have been murdered along with the victims.

We cope in different ways when we hear of yet another school massacre. We rage at the greed of our elected representatives who are selling their very souls for the filthy lucre of campaign money.

We shed tears for the victims and their families and yes, for ourselves because allowing the killing of our children to happen poisons the air we breathe, casts a dark cloud of sadness and despair over our lives.

Should we feel guilty? Yea, we should. We let this happen under our watch. Back in old testament times, people would rend their garments and beg forgiveness of Yahweh. We need to ask forgiveness of the innocent children and of the loving God who breathed life into their souls.

Our modern equivalent of sackcloth and ashes should be to join with the classmates and families of the kids whose lives were ended so abruptly and make sure this kind of carnage does not happen again.

Folks, put yourself for a moment in the place of the moms and dads of the murdered innocents of
Stoneman Douglas High and Sandy Hook and connect with their grief. Then remember that those kids are OUR kids, too. We owe them because THEY are US.

By all means, pray for them and for the shooter and for ourselves. Cynics dismiss our “thoughts and prayers” as a waste of time. Not me. I believe in the power of prayer just as I believe in a loving God. But let our prayer reflect the words of Pope Francis who told us that real prayer has two parts, first we pray….. then we act. That’s how it works. We rise from our knees and them we DO something.

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