A liturgy was held this morning in remembrance of the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch tragedy last Friday 15th March 2019. Student executive members created a tribute – 50 lit candles for the 50 people killed, sat alongside a flower for each person.
Susan van Zyl’s reflection reminded us that in these difficult times we can feel that our faith is being tested because we feel justified in hating those who perform such violent acts; after all it is our human nature. But Jesus is asking us to put our faith into action, to be a disciple by following his example and propelling us forward to love. Church leaders from across Christchurch released a statement saying they were absolutely devastated by the situation in Christchurch. No religious organization or group deserves to be the target of someone’s hate — regardless of beliefs. We pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters, for those injured and those who have lost loved ones, for the police, ambulance and other emergency services, and for all in the city of Christchurch who are feeling distress and fear.
Church leaders extended their prayers to the gunman and their supporters, expressing that for any person to do this, they must have such hatred in their hearts, such misalignment of the value of human life, that they too, need our prayer.
Just as Jesus taught us in the Gospel, the Church leaders of Christchurch are putting their faith into action, being a disciple of Christ by offering up prayers and choosing to love. This is what we are all called to do.