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Tragedies and Victories by Joe Lehman

Meteorologists and reporters have called the outbreak of tornadoes last week one of the deadliest in US history.  Scenes and reports of the devastation on the TV and in newspapers took me back to scenes of other tragic events in mid and late April:

to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas and the fiery tragedy there on April 19, 1993.

to Oklahoma City and the bombing of its Federal Building two years later – to the day.

to Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999 where two students stalked and shot fellow students and a teacher.

and to the Virginia Tech massacre on April 16, 2007.

All were bloody tragedies with many deaths and numerous injuries. All  left behind great fear and shock.

As I was “researching” the exact dates of these events I found an interesting e-article published in 2007.   In this article, the author, known by the byline “Chaotic Ramblings” lists other deadly happenings that occurred in the month of April: for example, the genocides in Armenia and Rwanda, , the outbreak of the Revolutionary war, the American Civil war, and the Bosnian War, and the assassinations of President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).  The author then posed a question and invited readers to share their thoughts about “this bizarrely, tragic  week” in history.   “Is there something about this time of year that lends itself to madness?”, (s)he asked, and went on: “ Some people believe that long winters can cause a type of madness. Is there any truth to this?”

An interesting hypothesis. I offer another.

All of the fore-mentioned tragedies occurred in the first two weeks after Easter – after the great high holy days for us who call Jesus Lord God and savior. In three of these years, Passover had been celebrated recently.  Both Passover and Easter are springtime feasts – feasts celebrating liberation from slavery and new beginnings, a passing into a brand new life, and the great and mighty actions of God that have left behind a people.

I ask:  in the face of so much good, in the wake of “so much God,”  in the aftermath of believers gathering in great numbers in families and in assemblies of faith to pray, celebrate, remember and give thanks for our-God-who-saves and frees, could evil be raising its ugly head ?

(Only, of course, to be defeated once again by God who is always VICTOR and who will never leave us orphans!)

I wonder.

Joe Lehman is the Pastor at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church located at 2505 Electric Rd (Rte 419.)  Visit them on the web at:

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