Bishop Burbidge prays for victims of Las Vegas shooting

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Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge was the celebrant and homilist at the 12:05 p.m. Mass Oct. 2 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More during which he prayed for the victims of the shooting in Las Vegas.

 

Law enforcement officials are reporting that 58 people were killed and more than 500 wounded by a lone gunman who was perched high on the 32nd floor of a hotel from where he unleashed a shower of bullets on a nearby outdoor country music festival. The crowd at the event numbered more than 22,000.

It is being called the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Among those participating in the Oct. 2 liturgy with Bishop Burbidge were the students and faculty of the Cathedral School of St. Thomas More in Arlington.

“Once again we are forced to deal with and to acknowledge the reality of evil in our midst as we learn of the horrific shooting that killed and injured so many people,” Bishop Burbidge said in his homily.

We can never fully understand or explain the mystery of evil as it is perpetuated in the free will decision of others through psychological or emotional duress, he said.

“Certainly we find consolation at every Mass that Our Lord Jesus took on all parts of suffering in an evil world and through His own suffering, death and resurrection proved victorious, and all of us, as we unite ourselves with Him, are given a share both now and forever,” Bishop Burbidge said.

“The only way that evil can temporarily win is if people of faith and good will despair or deceive themselves into thinking that there is nothing they can do about it,” Bishop Burbidge said. “We do not believe that.

“Instead, on this day of mourning in our nation, we come to this sacred place to pray, to profess our faith in Christ’s triumph,” he said. “To unite together as brothers and sisters and to renew our promise that we can be instruments of peace and goodness through the works that need to be performed wherever God sends us — in our schools, in our homes, workplaces and communities.

“That’s what our world and nation really need today — people to pray, people to renew their promise to be instruments of peace,” he said.

“How providential that we celebrate today the feast of the Guardian Angels,  God’s way of assuring us that He is always in our midst, especially in the turmoil and chaos of our earthly lives, assuring us that He, His angels and saints are there to guard us, protect us, guide us as we continue this earthly journey to a life with God forever in heaven,” Bishop Burbidge said.

“Through the intercession of Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of our nation, we commend all who died last night in that shooting to God’s mercy and love,” Bishop Burbidge said. “We ask the Lord to bless all who were injured with His healing love, to grant strength and consolation to their families, and to bring an end to all violence in our world and nation so that we can live together in unity as members of God’s holy family and together profess victory that is ours in Christ Jesus Our Lord. Amen.”

In an earlier Twitter post, Bishop Burbidge wrote, “We are united in prayer for those killed and injured last night by the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. May God embrace them in His love.”

Flach can be reached at mflach@catholicherald.com.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017