As we remember the killings at Mother Emanuel one year ago, we now encounter another indication of the pervasive power of hatred, in Orlando. Because of our experience, we have a window through which to see the Florida tragedy. The view may be different, the landscape may have changed, but the setting of hatred’s power is the same.
In response to this encounter with hate, though, we remember the example of the families of Emanuel’s victims, who followed the example of Jesus himself. That example, of course, leads inextricably to love. And, from the time of the cross, hatred loses its power when confronted by love.
The families of Emanuel knew this. The families of Orlando will come to know the same, I pray. May we all learn that lesson from our Lord, even in the pain, grief, and anger cultivated by hatred. Love will have the final word, for love is of God… and God is love.
The Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg
Bishop Provisional, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina