The world, since the dawn of man, has known the stain of violence. Yet, the Lord our Shepherd calls us to be peacemakers, to love our neighbors, even those different from us. But how can we act when whispers of hatred turn to threats of annihilation?

The scriptures offer wisdom in discerning the rise of evil. Proverbs 6:16-19 warns of “six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that hurry to do evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a sower of discord among brothers.” These mark a society teetering on the edge. Watch for leaders who demonize a group, who spread lies and incite violence.

Remember the prophet Micah (Micah 6:8): “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Here lies the path to avert tragedy. We are called to act with justice, to defend the vulnerable. Speak truth to power, challenge prejudice, and offer aid to those targeted.

Love must be our weapon. Love for our fellow humans, created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Love that compels us to remember the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12): “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Organize shelters, share resources, foster dialogue and understanding.

The Psalmist cries (Psalm 33:16): “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a delusion for deliverance; it cannot save by its great power.” True power lies in righteousness, in following God’s will.

By recognizing the signs, acting with justice and love, we can be instruments of peace, echoing God’s message of unity and hope. Let us not be bystanders. Let us be the answer to the cries of the innocent.