Tonight, Jesus’ body and blood will be mocked in a Satanic Black Mass. In this time, as always, Christians should look to Jesus for a response. Jesus’ body and blood was desecrated in his brutal execution, yet in the midst of it he said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).

As Christians pray for a stop to this mockery of our faith and our Lord, let us also pray as Jesus did: for the forgiveness of those causing the offence. We must be jealous of our God’s glory, but we must also further his glory by acting and praying in the same way he did. Jesus forgave those who mocked and killed him because they did not understand the great crime that they were committing. In the same way, many or even all of those involved in the black mass may not know the spiritual significance of what they plan to do. They may not know the immense goodness of our King. They may not know the beauty and graciousness of his self-sacrifice. They may not know that the very reason he came to die was to create a family of love out of those who rejected him and mocked his goodness. Similarly, they may not know that the black mass’ inversion of the respect, honor and love that he deserves is a crime against the one most worthy of love and praise.

In the midst of all this, I find it humbling that the gospels reveal that most of Christ’s criticism was not slung towards the irreligious. Rather, when God came to earth he saved his most vehement criticism for the religious and the self-righteous. We must not forget that the only difference between God’s children and the lost is the grace of God (1 Cor 15:10). As such, I cannot but intercede to God for the forgiveness of those participating in the black mass and plead that He might reveal Himself to them.

While each participant in the black mass has his or her own reasons for participating, I can’t help but doubt that the students of the Cultural Studies Club, Professor Robichaud, or even members of the Satanic Temple know the greatness, love and patience of our King who they will mock. And for that reason, I pray that God would forgive them, for they know not what they do.