The good shepherd

At church on Sunday the priest intoned that the Gospel was apt given the week’s spate of horrific news. The Boston Marathon bombing, ensuing manhunt and ongoing violence. The explosion in West, Texas. The floods and destruction closer to home.

He started on about how the good shepherd protects his sheep from wolves, thieves, robbers. How amid such horrors, we need not fear so long as we follow. He concluded by leading the congregation in prayer for the week’s victims, their families and the Tsarnaev family.

I was irked that he stopped there. Why not pray for the bombers themselves? The prayer for our enemies is the hardest one to make. But don’t they need it most?

As this new week unfolds, I’ve appreciated finding and reading a few calls for prayer and forgiveness. Not easy to do. But per Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, worth remembering: “Forgiveness does not mean that we do not realize the heinousness of the crime. But in our own hearts when we are unable to forgive we make ourselves a victim of our own hatred.”

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