Bishop Douglas J. Lucia offers a holy hour for the nation Jan. 6. (Screenshot via youtube.com/syrdio)
Echoing the words of St. Francis of Assisi, Bishop Douglas J. Lucia offered a simple prayer after a day of violence in the nation’s capital: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
The bishop’s prayer was part of a holy hour for the nation livestreamed from Syracuse’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Wednesday night, hours after supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, putting the building on lockdown and interrupting the count of electoral votes to certify the 2020 election, capping the last days of a tumultuous presidency with chaos.
“In this holy hour, let us pray for our nation; let us pray for her leaders; let us pray for her citizens; and let us pray, remembering that our true citizenship is always in heaven, that we are called to be God’s sons and daughters. Let us pray for the grace to always live in such a manner,” Bishop Lucia said as he began the liturgy.
The holy hour included Scripture readings, a rosary for justice and peace, a litany of peace, and a homily by the bishop.
“I don’t think any of us expected to see what we saw today. And yet, as we continue to watch with the Lord tonight, He comes to us, He gets into the boat with us,” Bishop Lucia said, referencing the evening’s Gospel reading, Mk 6:45-52, in which Jesus walks across the sea to his disciples’ boat and quiets the winds buffeting it.
The faithful recently have been “basking in the light of Christmas,” the bishop said, a light “announcing God’s presence with us, bringing peace, bringing hope, bringing love.”
“I’m sure right now many of us would want to yell and scream and say a few choice words about what happened today,” Bishop Lucia said. “But what’s more important is that we once again remember the Word become flesh and his message and be reminded that you and I are called to be God’s messengers here and now. That is what’s going to make the true difference in our world.
“All the violence, all the hate, all the angry words will do nothing,” the bishop continued. “But never forget the difference one kind word makes, the difference one loving act makes — the difference you can make living as a child of God.”
Watch the holy hour below, courtesy Syracuse Catholic Television.
Catholic News Service contributed to this report.