The Rt. Rev. DeDe Duncan-Probe, Bishop of Central New York, issued a video statement following the October 2nd mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(Prayer attributed to St. Francis)
Today is a time of challenge and great sadness for many. It is hard not to have a heavy heart as we hear about news out of Las Vegas and Puerto Rico, the continued challenges for Florida and Louisiana and Houston, the fires out west…So much of our world is suffering and hurting. Our civic life is split into discord. This is a time when it is easy to think, “Where is God? How can I live for Jesus? What can I possibly do to make a difference with all of this hurt and suffering?”
But this is a time, friends, when we remember who God is, and especially who God is in us. We love a God who is faithful through all times. We love a God who is with us, beside us, who calls us to stand together in hope and unity: the unity centered around the Gospel.
So today let us offer a word of encouragement to someone: make a phone call, pick up a service task, or give a gift, that we might be the light shining in the darkness that brings hope and encouragement to someone. And yes, let us pray and work, so that the suffering in our world may be abated, and so that we can make the difference in the life of someone we may never meet, but whose life is precious to our God.
Be of good cheer, be courageous. But most of all know that God loves you, so love in return. Peace be with you.