Thursday, September 12, 2013

Seek what is above in national and international tragedy: Daily Mass Homily--Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

           This morning my pastor preached about the attacks on September 11th in 2001 at our school Mass.  It was interesting that most of our kids weren’t born by 9-11 and have no memory of what happened.
Now I may not be thirty yet, but I remember well the terrorist attacks twelve years ago.  I walked into Spanish class to start the day and the room was completely silent with the television on.  We watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center and the collapse of the towers.
As an immature Christian my first reaction was a desire for vengeance.  I remember telling my friend Aaron (over instant messaging), “We should blow Afghanistan off the map.”  Aaron, who was a good role model in my faith and far more mature than I, replied, “No.  We don’t respond to violence with violence.”  Aaron showed a mature approach to tragedy—he lived out St. Paul’s exhortation to “seek what is above.”
Today our world faces other terrorist attacks in Syria.  Leaders are gassing their own citizens—innocent men, women and children.  In the United States many are seeking vengeance on those responsible, a natural earthly reaction to tragedy.
As Christians we must be witnesses of peace.  We need to pray for the innocent in Syria who have lost their homes, families or even lives.  We need to hold our brothers and sisters who are now refugees in our thoughts and prayers.  We must pray for the conversion of those responsible for horrendous crimes.  And we must pray for a peaceful resolution in Syria.
As we remember those who fell on 9-11 we pray for the grace to be men and women of peace.  We pray for the grace to be men and women of prayer.

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