My day yesterday was marked by the same experience shared by all Canadians: shock and horror at the tragic events in Ottawa. I might have surrendered to the natural temptation to fear before the ugly face of evil, were it not for another experience that announced hope. Earlier in the day I attended a community breakfast in support of the Alberta Association of Community Living. There I heard wonderful stories of hope. People carrying crosses of unbearable weight due to family members suffering severe disabilities shared how they found hope from members of the community banding together to help them and give much needed support.
The contrast between the two experiences was striking, and reminded me of what the Christian tradition has long held and taught: Light and darkness are not of equal weight. Light dispels darkness and hope banishes fear. Light and hope have come to the world in Jesus Christ, and they are made both visible and tangible when people come together to overcome evil and suffering by the power of good. That is the lesson of the dying and rising of Jesus and we do well to remember it. In that light, we dare to live without fear.