Today’s Bible readings can be found online here: Isaiah 49:8-13 and Colossians 3:12-17.

Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

The outpouring of love and compassion that I’ve seen on the internet after the Orlando Massacre has both humbled and deeply touched me. I know that there are still some ignorant folks venting their spleens and spreading hate, but their voices are diminishing and their influence is negligible. What I’ve seen are many photographs of people from all over the world attending candle lit vigils and showing their compassionate unity with the victims and families of the dreadful shooting. It will never take away the loss and pain that the affected friends and families will always feel, but it will offer a level of comfort and support in the midst of their agonizing grief.

Religious congregations and secular companies, people of faith and those of none, have joined together in sadness and grief, shock and loss. It’s sad that such a level of basic goodness and unified humanity has been engendered by a terrible tragedy; however, if we remain united we can change and make better decisions. Sensible gun laws and acceptable choices can be accomplished, but only if we work together toward a brighter future for our children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren. It won’t be easy, but it can be achieved. It starts at a personal level and continues to expand in our community, country, and world.

As Paul wrote long ago, God’s people are meant to embrace and express compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. If I want to experience these in my life, it all starts with me; if you are seeking the same, it begins with you, too.

Questions for personal reflection

How has the Orlando Massacre affected and changed me? How can I show God’s love and compassion to others at this time?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to become God’s people and Your servants through personal acts of love, kindness, and compassion to others, this day and every day onward. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is John’s drawing of a Celtic Cross in rainbow colors. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Cross.