Violence saddens me… especially senseless violence like the shooting and killing of some 12 innocent people in a movie theater in Colorado… and the injuring of dozens more. Why would it even cross someone’s mind to ever do something such as this?
Human beings… in our free-will, our gifts of intellect, and the gift of our passions, are capable of great sacrifices of Love and virtue. It is apparent, however, that we are also capable of grotesque and abhorrent acts such as the one in Colorado this morning.
The motive of this “alleged” shooter, a 24 year old man, is unknown. New information says he also planted bombs in the apartment which he lived, and that he just waited there for Police to come and arrest him. He did not take his own life, which so many of the shooters like him tend to do. It seems he was not afraid of what would happen to him. This makes me believe that this was well planned on his part, not an act of passion, and that through it, he wishes to make some statement. He will surely get enough stage time to say what he wants.
But really… why does anyone do something like this? While this action can never be excused, and we can never initially know the fullness of motives for why violence happens, especially in this case, there is a history of shootings among those who are bullied. We live in a SINFUL world, my friends, and we MUST, we are OBLIGATED, do to everything we can individually and as a community to make sure things like these never happen. At the end of time, when we stand before God and he shows us the effects of our actions throughout our whole lives… how many of us will be happy with what they see? I urge you, do not let this act, or Columbine, or Cold Springs, or Virginia Tech, go in vain! Keep them in your mind, pray about them, and let them motivate you to live every moment of every day in love for your neighbor… especially those who feel as though no one loves them. Love can change hearts. Love can convert sinners. Love can prevent acts such as this shooting.
Finally, brothers and sisters, I wish to impress on you the importance this shows us of being ready for our death! Those people in the movie theater, I say with confident certainty that none of them went to the movie expecting to be killed. How many of them now, wish that they had lived lives closer to God, that they had gone to Church or confession just one more time, or that they had made amends with broken relationships they just never got around to? Life is precious! But even more important is what happens to us after life… let’s not take either for granted–let’s live life to the fullest, loving, maintaining healthy relationships, and doing what God wants us to do, and lets do it with our eyes set to heaven, taking care to avoid any sin, and asking for forgiveness as soon as we can for those sins we do commit.
We pray, O Lord, for all those affected by the shooting in Aurora, CO this morning. For those who were taken, eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine on them. For those who loved them, or who will be forever changed by the experience, we ask you to send down your Holy Spirit to console them. We pray that, in the devastation and suffering that they are feeling, they cling closer to you and that they’re hearts not be hardened or despair. Finally, we pray for the man who committed this atrocity, may he feel true sorrow and repent of his sin, and may everyone who hates him, who wishes damnation on him, experience a softening of heart and pray for his conversion. Amen.