Over the last week, reports of what is happening in Paris have captured the attention of our world. We have found ourselves facing acts of violence and destruction that seem so mindless and threatening. From world leaders to local commentators to friends and colleagues the conversation has often focused on why this is happening and how anyone can respond.
The President of France has stated that France is at war, but against whom? Unfortunately many innocents can suffer in “war” where the enemy is not clear. A wide net of attacks has begun to spread out and touch whole groups of people who are in no way involved or guilty. In Canada, a mother picking up her child from school is attacked because she is Muslim. A Muslim cultural centre is set afire. Neither has any real connection with the events in Paris.
Suddenly, some have begun to question whether or not to reach out to refugees fleeing from the conflicts in the Middle East. Hatred and intolerance, tensions and fear are the fruits of the events in Paris this week. They are exactly what the perpetrators hope for from their actions. And the result is to divide and build walls among us.
On this Sunday’s Feast of Christ the King, perhaps it is timely to recall that the message of Jesus calls for a response of mercy and love, openness and compassion. This is the call to build the Kingdom of God where we are. To do so is to work against the hatred and violence that we see around us. At this moment in our history it would seem that the reaching out to those most at risk, the refugee fleeing from the violence is the most direct way in which we at St. Theresa’s can respond.
This weekend, please take the time to find out more about our community effort to reach out. Join us after Mass for conversation on how we can work together in this work of God’s Kingdom.