Yesterday, we witnessed, once again, another instance of terrible and absurd evil perpetrated against the most vulnerable of God’s beloved people: our children. We are filled with sadness and grief at the death of the many children, teachers, as well as those wounded in this tragic shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
I exhort all the monastics, clergy, and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America to keep all those affected by this horrible event in their fervent prayers invoking our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ to grant comfort and peace to the afflicted families. It is in these especially tragic moments that we see more clearly why our Savior comes to us as the suffering servant, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). Our Lord suffers with us so that He can also give us comfort and hope.
Although the young man who committed this atrocious act seems to have acted alone, we must acknowledge that any manifestation of violence is also a product of a world which all too often cherishes violence in its many forms. As Christians, we must always oppose any and all forms of violence giving instead that example that our Lord Himself gives us; one of meekness, gentleness, self-sacrifice, love, and patience.
There is no more heart-wrenching occasion than for a parent to lose one’s child. I pray that our merciful Lord gives strength and hope to those parents who are now facing their darkest hour. May all who are grieving look towards the great day of the Lord when Christ will “wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4).
// (signed) //
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All-America and Canada
Orthodox Church in America