“Hear me, all of you and understand. Nothing that enters one from the outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” Mark 7:14-15
On Friday, a young man walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 26 people, 20 children 6 and 7 years old. It is a horrific crime so horrific it cannot be processed. It is evil up close. We are face to face with the devil.
A friend of mine has a theory. And I can’t shake it. He believes that mass murders like this are possessed. They live for years getting some sort of high from their possession. A trick of the devil. It is an addiction that feeds them, guides them, and ultimately calls them to act.
But at some moment, in one last cruel joke, the devil pulls the veil from the eyes of its victim, and there is a split second or realization when the afflicted sees what he has done. Even if God is stretching out his hand to help at that very moment — God invites, never forces. And by then, the hope that was long tossed away is too far gone to grasp. There is nothing left but despair and death.
Our priest today discussed that the fault line of good and evil is within the human heart. And that there is no small act of resentment, or hatred, or an unwillingness to forgive. Every thought sets roots. Our society has turned away from God. And in emptying our hearts of the goodness and Love that is God, we leave room for addiction, and hatred and demons. We cannot afford this. It is the Jonah story. When one turns away from God, it affects us all. We are together in joy and in fear.
We are all connected. And we must keep watch.
It is time to look to the East . To Newtown Connecticut, to love and pray for all those in unspeakable pain. And it is time to Look to the East for the coming of Christ, who can fill our heart with Love and leave no room for the tragedy within us.
Lamb of God. You take away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us.Lamb of God. You take away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God. You take away the sins of the world. Grant us peace.