It's not only the events this week in Newtown, Connecticut that should affect us. The world is full of tragedy and suffering. Children die every day of hunger and malnourishment. If you've traveled to the third world or witnessed tragedy you've likely seen the pain on the faces of helpless parents or orphaned children and asked "why?"
Yet in the midst of all of this, we are called to care; called to love; called to serve. We're called to make a difference. That may seem like a daunting task - after all, how can we fix problems on such a grand scale? But, as Mother Teresa said, "If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one." I admired her so much for her attitude and her dedication. She also said, "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."
We who call ourselves by Christ's name cannot allow ourselves to sink into despair, which is the surrender of hope. Every day we have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people around us. In fact, in Matthew 25, Jesus taught us this lesson in The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. He said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For
I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you
gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ "The
King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the
least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"
There is a light in the darkness; there is a peace in the midst of the storm. As theologian Carl F. Henry wrote about Jesus: "He planted the only durable rumor of hope
amid the widespread despair of a hopeless world." Go and do likewise.