A terrible event like the bombings in Boston connects us to people all around the world.  Their messages of support flow in and for a while we feel the love of strangers surrounding us. 

            This is also a time when we can feel compassion for so many others in the world who have suffered from senseless violence.   We are one with Israelis who’ve been bombed while riding on a bus; Palestinians who come under rocket fire in their neighborhoods; Iraqi pilgrims attacked by a suicide bomber; Afghan families at a wedding feast who are targeted by a drone; an American soldier who loses a leg to an improvised explosive device set on the road.

            In his fourth inaugural, in 1945, FDR said:  “Today, in this year of war, 1945, we have learned lessons—at a fearful cost—and we shall profit by them. We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other Nations, far away…  We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community. We have learned the simple truth, as Emerson said, that, ‘The only way to have a friend is to be one.’”

            May we take these lessons deeply to heart.  The tragedy in Boston is part of the larger tragedy of violence and war that afflicts so many of our neighbors on earth.  We must find ways to listen to each other, to try to understand each other, to fight for what we believe in without inflicting violence on those who think differently.