Reflecting on Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
The Ephesians reading today exhorts us to not give any attention or energy to deceitful desires, but to create a new self in Christ.
This brings me back to the terrible events of sixteen days ago, when one person gave so much attention and energy to deceitful desires that it was only a matter of time before they became reality.
The most inspiring words of this nightmare have come from those inside that theatre, and from the faith communities that love them. This is where I find the heart of the struggle most beautifully articulated.
Even while in shock, one of the wounded knew the scriptures well enough to paraphrase John 1:3, 4 in relaying his ordeal: It was so dark in there, and the sounds were so loud, and no one could see because of the tear gas he set off. But here’s the good news: the Light is greater than the darkness, and the darkness shall never overcome it.
Archbishop Aquila and Bishop Conley sent a press release that I thought was the most powerful faith statement to come out of the ordeal: In the chaos of the moment, people poured from the movie theater into the darkness of the night—the darkness of confusion, of ambiguity, of despair. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters cast into that darkness. They do not stand alone.
No, they don’t. Ever. But today I renew my baptismal promise to reject sin and refuse to be mastered by it. That’s my little candle, but it burns amid the millions of flames of love kindled to accompany the victims on their way to the Light.
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).