Spirituality for Today – January 2013 – Volume 17, Issue 6

And Angels Appeared

"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more." – Jeremiah 31:15

A photo of many small Angel statues

Except for one person, no one could imagine the events that were to unfold on that gloomy Friday morning in Newtown, Connecticut. Neither the parents, nor their children, nor the staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School knew that the Devil incarnate was coming to them that day. And the wonderful teachers and staff of the school as well as the great men and women who fill the agencies that respond to the emergencies that might occur had any notion of the sacrifices and the heroic acts that would be their portion on that morning. They would make God visible.

The double-edged sword of the personal freedom with which God has endowed his creation shone both bloody and also brightly that momentous day. God, who has loved us into being and wants us to respond by loving Him and one another, has taken the chance of giving us the power to do great good or to do great evil. We must decide which one. It seems that each day of human existence witnesses to both.

The time has come to hold our children close, to cherish the good in each member of our families, and to seek to serve God in our daily lives. Each morning we ought to ask Our Lord to walk with us and to be our guide and to influence the manner in which we think, speak, and act. God has to find in us a welcome. I cannot describe the thoughts of that modern day Herod as he awoke on the morning of his horrific act. I do know, however, what he did not do: He did not ask Our Lord to guide his actions that day. If anything, let us resolve to be more aware of our power and of our responsibility to grace our God with the life we lead.

What good may come from this tragedy is yet to be manifested. One may hope that our society will discover the sins within its character that seem to support and to covertly encourage disfigured minds to act with such barbarity. Be assured that the God who has vanquished sin and death will be born this Christmas and his gift of faith and love will arise in the hearts of countless millions. In that truth rests our hope and our security.

A century ago, the poet, Robert Bridges expressed the hope of all who had lost a child when he wrote this line in his poem, On a Dead Child, Death – whither hath he taken thee? To a world, do I think, that rights the disaster of this. As heaven celebrates Christmas this year, an appearance of angels, new to the heavenly host, gather in praise and joy around the Holy Family.

We at Clemons Productions extend to the families, to their loved ones, and to all who faced the terrifying events of that day our prayers and condolences. May our victorious Savior embrace the victims within the arms of his eternal love and grant to them the everlasting joy of his heavenly kingdom.