Violence Among Our Young

The student was in her final year at school. Suddenly she changed. From having been steady at her studies she seemed not to care, fell behind in her work, and A levels were coming.

I pleaded with her to resume her good work. She had tired of school, saw no point in anything except having a good time and life beyond 25 wasn’t worth living, anyway, she said.

This week we heard insights into the escalating violence amongst young people and elsewhere. A former gang member spoke of not caring about life, one’s own or others’, making the most of the present because it’s only going to last for a short while.

We see youngsters with little (interest in) education, no one to guide them or care for or about them, the ‘gang’ membership their only identity. Who will save them?

We look around our world at child soldiers (their stories are harrowing when they are freed from their killing), child exploitation and slavery, frightening everyday violence in Yemen, Syria, Congo, South Sudan, oppressive regimes in many countries, poverty and hunger and homelessness.

Where is hope? Out of our relative cosiness we look at a world of suffering and sadness and we can ask God “What’s the purpose of it all? If you want us for heaven why don’t you take us straight there instead of asking us to live in a world of injustice, cruelty and suffering like this?”

We’ll find partial answers, but they don’t satisfy. The huge question of WHY is too big for us to answer. We reason at the lower levels of How, When and What. Does God not want us to ask Why?

Then why are we able to ask the question? Dear Lord, we shall ask and we know Jesus is the answer – but how? The Word of God to answer the words of humanity . . . .

Guide us, bless us.

Fr John
(8th April 2018)