On June 12th at 2AM a tragic and horrific incident took place as Omar Mateen open fired in a homosexual nightclub killing 49 and wounding 53 more. We pray God has mercy on them all and our thoughts and prayers go out to their family and loved ones.
What is tragic on top of more tragedy is if we stop to think about how many of those victims’ souls are in heaven?
This question is not to cast judgement – only God knows. However it does bring to mind the state of our souls. As Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “Unless souls are saved, nothing is saved.”
We need to examine ourselves individually and collectively as a church and ask honestly:
- Are we taking care of our souls? Are we in a state of Grace?
- Are our actions and interactions with others bringing us and them closer to God?
- If we are faced or confronted with sin or sinners do we admonish it?
There are many well intentioned and good willed people but they have a misguided understanding of mercy in which their false sense of mercy affirms someone in their sin.
In order to appreciate and receive mercy we first need to acknowledge what we are seeking or need mercy from (i.e. sin) and be repentant for it.
We as Christians are called to love, but that love is not superficial and does not end at feelings. Christian love bears all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13) and ultimately, by the Grace of God, that love brings people to Christ.
Christ even says, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus is always forgiving others of their sins and telling them to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
In this Year of Mercy and in light of the horrific incident that took place in Florida, it is a sobering reminder to practice the spiritual works of mercy, especially instructing the ignorant and to admonish sinners. This includes ourselves and we need to work on ourselves before we can help others (Matthew 7:5).
We can preach all about love but unless it is rooted in the love of others in which we care about each other’s salvation, in the end, all our efforts are for nothing. Unless souls are saved, nothing is saved.
May God give you the grace to practice the spiritual works of mercy during this Jubilee Year of Mercy and may God have mercy on the victims of the horrific Orlando shootings.
Author’s note: You can watch a video I did on this tragic topic here.
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