Who would do this? Are we safe? What is happening in our world? These are questions we are all having after the actions that took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. What is frustrating is that there are no real answers. We have to just be in this uncertain, uncomfortable place of not knowing. We do not know what the intent was in the bombings, at least not yet. Is this a national threat, or a local one? We want answers that aren’t there yet.
So we turn to our hearts since our heads can’t wrap around the tragedy. And some hearts are filled with anger. “What kind of sick person would hurt people like that?!” “They deserve to be punished!” Isn’t finding blame easier than simply being in sadness or disbelief? We can make that choice and go to that dark place, but that is not the choice God would like us to make. God chooses life for us. God wants to be one with us.
In our reading from the Gospel of John this Sunday, Jesus says, “No one can take them out of my hand,” and then, “The Father and I are one.” If we are in the hands of Jesus, who is one with the Father, then we are all in some way, one together. God works in every way to unite us together with him. That’s love. If we are called to be like Jesus, then we need to strive to be one with each other. Even those we don’t love or even like very much. Even, dare I say, our enemies.
I’m not there yet. I’m not sure if anyone ever is completely. How can we be one with someone who wants to intentional bomb and hurt someone? Richard Rohr says, “…our work and the only work of religion is to create unity wherever you go. If you are not creating unity, you are part of the problem and you are certainly not one of the children of God. You can come to mass as much as you want and come to communion as often as you can. But you are not in communion, ” (Hungry and You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C, Ed. Deacon J. Knipper, p. 108). Wow, that’s a tall order.
I’m not here to preach and say I have it all figured out. Clearly the opposite. I don’t know how we can be one with each other, especially when it’s hard. But Jesus tells us it has to do with love. He is our example. And I do believe that God delights in our trying. We can try to find unity in our world’s brokeness. Maybe that’s enough. Follow goodness, follow love, follow the light of Christ…keep trying for oneness with ourselves and with God.