Beloved in the Lord,

Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!

As we continue to celebrate the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our hearts are devastated by the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. At a time when families should be preparing for summer vacations, they now prepare for funerals. We offer our prayers to all those who are suffering, and beseech the Holy Spirit’s comfort upon those whose are grieving the loss of their loved ones. We seek the Lord’s divine guidance to grant us the right words and put them into action so that no family may suffer at the hands of such unconscionable violence.

Innocent children were torn away from their families, who are now left with fleeting memories of their precious angels. And just as Rachel wept for her children “because they are no more” (Jeremiah 31:15), we pray that no one may ever again experience the depth of this pain.

Whether it is a school, church, grocery store, shopping mall or a sporting event, we cannot lock up our entire world to shield it from violence. It will take more than just stricter gun control laws to bring these tragedies to an end. It will also take education, heightened awareness of mental health issues, racial tolerance, patience and love. We must demand action from our leaders, so that the lives of those innocent children and their teachers in Uvalde, Texas will not be forgotten, but may bring forth an urgent solution to a pervasive problem in our world.

The names and faces of those who perished at Robb Elementary School have now joined with others from Sandy Hook, NJ; Columbine, CO; Parkland, FL and so many others. It is time to close that book. It is time to write the final chapter. It is time to say enough!

Beseeching the Lord’s everlasting grace, peace and mercy on our fallen world, and asking Him to keep us under His watchful care and protected by His loving embrace, I remain,

With Love in the Risen Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S

Metropolitan of San Francisco

PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Bell/Getty Images