ATLANTA – The Statement from His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta on the Tragedy in Uvalde, Texas follows:
Beloved in the Lord,
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη. Christ is Risen.
It is with a troubled and sorrowful heart that I greet you today in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like each of you, I was shocked and grieved to hear of the horrifying attack in Uvalde, Texas, which has resulted in the deaths of 19 elementary school students and 2 teachers.
In the face of such a cruel attack, there is not only shock and sadness, but also numbness. In just the last month our country has also seen attacks in Buffalo, New York, and at a church in Southern California. And after each event of terrible loss, it is only human to feel tired, distressed and hopeless.
On the Cross, when Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He was quoting the 22nd Psalm, in which the Psalmist calls on God to save him. After describing his ill health, and how the world surrounds him, the Psalmist ends his prayer by saying, “For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him” (Psalm 22:24). In this season of the Resurrection, we recall not only the joy that our Lord has brought to us by trampling down on Death, but we can also find comfort that from the Cross, He understands our pain, our struggles, our doubts, and our fears.
So now, let us each pray that our Lord give rest to the souls of those innocent children, that He comfort their grieving families, and that He bring renewed hope to as the survivors. Though they may have been unknown to us, all those affected are made in the image and likeness of God, and so we are called to remember them in our personal prayers. Truly, as we continue to experience events of this magnitude and sobering character, it is both good and proper to turn to God. The only other choice—continuing to drive ourselves and our society away from our Creator—is what produces such feelings of terror and helplessness, which in turn lead to horrific actions.
May our Lord bestow upon us the hope and strength to minister and support our grieving brothers and sisters. As we chant during the Great Compline, “Lord of the Powers be with us, for in times of distress we have no other help but You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.”
May their memories be eternal!
+ A L E X I O S
Metropolitan of Atlanta