As we mourn the victims of the massacre last Friday in Christchurch, the ubiquitous nature and capacity for influence of social media, poignantly arrests us as educators. Social media when used appropriately is a most natural and uplifting sharing of life and experience among family, friends, and colleagues. The live, uncensored, multi media nature of the platform and its incredible reach around the globe is compelling and powerful. It is a form of communication replete with good news and moments of joyous significance. However, as witnessed last Friday, social media can be used as a destructive tool for evil, inciting hatred and inflicting immense pain and suffering. Broadcasted murder of innocent, defenceless people praying to God, violently and indescribably shocks us. The massacre was the antithesis of love, nurture and care, God’s gifts to the unique nature of human kind.
Much has been written and spoken in the past week concerning the trials, verdict and subsequent appeal in the case of Cardinal Pell. As Marists, may we continue to pray together for the victims and survivors of child sex abuse as well as their families and loved ones. Let us also pray for justice.
As we commence the Lenten Season on Ash Wednesday this week, may we turn our minds and hearts to Jesus with intensity. This Lent, as we reflect upon the hurts and sorrows for which we seek forgiveness, let us ask Jesus to bring to the fore our better selves, compassionate, generous, thoughtful, forgiving, and hopeful. In these deeply troubling times we might look to our own story and tradition for inspiration. Despite the many very real challenges and adversity facing Saint Marcellin and the people with whom he lived and worked, deep trust in God was clearly evident, most outstanding in the joy and love for one another that was prospered. Marcellin’s dying wish for the young Christians he had gathered in the name of Mary rings loudly for us today.