I am not going to rush to capture all my thoughts regarding the attack on the Capitol building which happened on the Feast of the Epiphany. I was horrified and outraged. But by themselves, my emotions don’t mean much. Horror and outrage will only go so far. The real work lies on the other side. But, I’m not going to rush past all that toward the construction of a grand analysis, solution, or even a cogent essay of any kind. I have much to process as we all do. For now, I am going to offer one thought and plead one cause.
Holy Apostles is our local incarnation of Body of Christ. St. Paul tells us that we are all members of one body (Romans 12). A member of the body attacking another member of the body is analogous to one of the most dangerous aspects of the coronavirus for a lot people, especially those who are otherwise healthy. The virus tricks the body’s immune system into attacking the body itself. In the same way, the virus of hatred and division (a spiritual, cultural, and political malaise) is tricking the body of Christ into attacking itself. This cannot be. Now more than ever, we need to love each other and stick by each other. We do not need to completely agree with each other, except in one case—that we are members of the Body of Christ. Don’t believe our society that claims the only thing that matters is being right, that the “gotcha” moment is what counts. The only thing that matters is the love of Jesus that transforms the world. In the FINAL analysis, the moment that counts is when you were baptized into the Body of Christ, transformed and saved by the grace of God. We need to be careful what we say to each other, especially on social media. Social media gives us a false sense of removal from the real consequences of our words. It tricks us into thinking we can say whatever we want; to be more forceful, mean, and cruel than we would ever dream of being in a face-to-face conversation. I confess to you my siblings in Christ, I am guilty of this more times than I can count. The love of Jesus is calling us to be different. Grace and peace are not won by winning on the internet.
This doesn’t mean we should not have real conversations about the issues which threaten to destroy the country in which we live. Going forward, after the outrage and horror subsides, we’re going to have to figure out ways on the grassroots level to talk about this stuff in ways that honor God and honor our sacred obligation to love each other as Christ loves us.