We have heard all the words over the weekend. Initially, they were words which reported the terrible extent of the tragedy on Market Street, Omagh.

These soon turned to words of condemnation from the people on the streets and from politicians.

Today is a day of images. We are now beginning to see the faces of the people whose names we are also only beginning to know.

These are faces of people of all ages, faces which will not change any more. The passage of time will not now draw lines on the faces of the children whose school photographs colour our pages and televisions today.

These images of bloodstained innocence and shattered families draw our emotions, our thoughts and our prayers across the land in heart-felt sympathy for those who are suffering. This awful tragedy touches the very core of our being.

We are angered at the thought of people planning this cold and senseless act. We hope and pray that once and for all a change of heart may be possible for those who planned and planted the bomb.

We pray that these hearts of stone may be transformed to hearts of flesh who can understand the consequences of this bombing.

This is also an appropriate time for each of us to resolve to be people of peace in our own lives. Each moment of our day, no matter where we live or what we do, calls us to respond to others. The images of these days ought to challenge us always to do so peacefully, respecting differences, and promoting the sacredness of all human life.

Above all, our thoughts and prayers go to the families in Ireland and Spain who will spend the next week burying their loved ones.

At this time, when it is surely difficult for them to pray, let us raise our hearts and spirits on their behalf praying for consolation and hope from the Lord.