The Church witnesses to a world that is broken and enthralled to darkness. It also witnesses to God’s victory over that darkness in the person and work of Christ. But the very shape of that victory is one marked by a time in between and it is into that struggle that the Christian is invited.
That is why the Saints whose lives we celebrated today are not easy people or even likable. They are people whose lives and witness are shaped by the crucible of faith. They are people who sacrificed their lives and often died in faithful response to the call of God. As such, Christians are people driven by a vision of what God longs to give us, but they are equally realistic about the evil that continues to mar and distort our lives.
They are, for that reason, neither surprised nor overwhelmed by human cruelty. They are not drawn to the false promises of utopian dreams, though they never cease to work for justice and peace as they are found in God. They are not wearied by the demands that life makes upon them.
In the name of their Lord they go to the aid of those who are injured, they stand alongside those who grieve, and they stand between the vulnerable and those who would harm them — for the lives into which they are called to walk alongside their Lord is cruciform in its nature.
Contrary to what some have argued, our prayers are not pointless. They align our hearts with those who are wounded and grieve. They align our hearts with the God who calls us to share their grief.
Contrary to what some may conclude, the persistence of evil is not evidence that we have failed. We are called to be light in the darkness.
Contrary what some may suggest, we are not prepared to surrender. The horizon of our calling is not fixed by the events of this day or by any day — regardless of how dark that day may be. We are called, endlessly, tirelessly to respond to the call of God in Christ.
So, yes, we pray. We grieve with those who mourn. And tomorrow when we know more, we will do what we can, resolute in our faith, clear-eyed in our sense of vocation to the cross of Christ.