Initially I was going to talk about how we are tenants in vineyard of the Lord and how Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si , on Care for Our Common Home, that the vineyard, our earth, is crying out to us, and I quote, “because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her” (LS #2). He goes on to say: “We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life” (#2) “by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations” (#66).
But then another event happened: another massacre, this time in Las Vegas. I reflected that like the tenants in today’s Gospel, we turn to violence to get our way or to make our point or just for the thrill of it. Witness the times we give in to road rage or bullying another or our taking part in causing division and dissension, or our complicity in allowing weapons of mass destruction, the fruit of “wild grapes”; not “judgment but see, bloodshed,” not “justice, but hark, the outcry” (cf. Is. 5:7).
Questions swirled in my head but precious few answers.
When will it end? When will it end? Why are we surprised every time it happens, labeling every occurrence as an absolute evil but continuing to provide evil with the tools to allow it to continue haunting us? Why?
Why do we respond with empty words and pitiable actions, taking moments of silence and building shrines of flowers and teddy bears? When will we do something to stop the carnage in our streets, schools, movie theaters, concerts and homes?
When will we finally determine we will not tolerate to be part of a Wild West show?
When we feel safe and be safe from the fear of violence?
Pray for courage to make decisions, prudence in making them, and perseverance throughout.