Message from the Bishop
after the Shooting at
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ and our Friends,
As we celebrate this bright Feast of the Epiphany, we are once more plunged into the depths of darkness after the violent shooting that occurred this afternoon at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. As I write this message the details of the shooting are still unfolding, although we do now know that five people are dead and eight others are wounded, and that the shooter is in police custody.
This is, however, enough to bring us to our knees in prayer for those who have been killed and injured, and for their families and communities who mourn them and watch with them. I am asking all our congregations to remember the victims in your liturgies on Sunday.
Today's Feast is a reminder to us who follow the Star of faith that the darkness of our world is only ever pierced by a fragile beam of light. As the great priest and preacher, H. A. Williams, once said, "truth is for us always a spotlight, never a floodlight." In those moments when the darkness of our world seems to threaten the light of God's very presence, we remember that we have staked our claim on the truth that
"the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (John 1:5).
May this Light, which not even the darkness of death can quench, give us the grace to refuse despair, and to be a witness to the Word made flesh, full of grace and truth, when fear and danger are all around. In this way the Word will be made manifest among us and in our world, just as he was made manifest to the Magi.
O Christ, made known to the Magi by the leading of a single star,
shine graciously into our hearts that,
walking as children of light,
we may glorify you before all people,
and, being always ready to obey your call,
may, in our time and place,
hold up the light of life to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.