This morning we awoke to emails, tweets, and news stories that depicted another unimaginably, heart-wrenching scene of death, violence, and a struggling hope.
Current reports say that three explosions that ripped through the Belgian capital of Brussels on Tuesday killing at least 34 people and wounding about 170 more. This atrocity has once again raised the reality of terror in the heart of Europe.
It is moments like these that make the world, especially us Christians, stop and ask “Why, God?”
While we will never be able to fully understand the pain and suffering that comes in this world, we must never surrender hope in our Heavenly Father. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6-7).”
It is easy for us to trust the Lord in times of peace and prosperity, but it is in the times when our hearts break, our faith is challenged, and our societies are shaken, that we must place our trust in the One who governs all.
This horrific tragedy has drawn the eyes of the world to Brussels — may it also draw the prayerful hearts of the greater Church to pray, in unity, for the men, women, and children who have been affected by this attack. May we find a moment today, during the holiest of weeks in the Church year, to pause and invoke the Holy Spirit to come in a powerful way upon the greater community of Belgium and restore peace, love, and hope among all.
May we also set aside time during this Holy Week to pray for our missionaries serving in Belgium
In a society in which values have become relative and faith has hardly any place, but which is still in search for meaning, our missionaries believe that it is their vocation to proclaim the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ — especially when times are darkest and faith is running dry.
Despite the inequalities, individualism and growing violence in Belgium, we opt to commit ourselves to joining local movements throughout the country in promoting education for justice, peace and universal brotherhood for all.
Our missionaries are particularly eager to reach out to the youth of Belgium. Our prayer and daily efforts are focused on helping them grow in knowledge of truth, beauty, and goodness so that they might grow into the world changers and cultural influences that their country needs them to be — and that our Lord wants them to be.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Our final prayer is that through the atrocious events of today, the country of Belgium and the greater global community might retaliate against this evil by fostering a holy week of prayer, of empathy, and most importantly, of love.
May the events of today cultivate a miraculous reconciliation and restoration for this beautiful country and may we, as the Church, seek to serve our brothers and sisters affected by today’s events in whatever ways we are able. We ask for our Heavenly Father to continue to protect and further Missionhurst’s work in Belgium — may our missionary priests continue to dutifully fulfill their call to serve and pastor the most vulnerable in the Belgian community.