9/11 - Homily
Mass in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11/01: tonight, SAA Church, 7:30. All are encouraged to attend.
Here is the homily (more or less) I gave at Mass this morning (yes, we have Mass during the week - every day!!):
Last night was a great night here. A great night! We had our first Sunday night Mass, and it was very well attended. Then, our youth group Kick-Off party was excellent; it, too, was very well attended. It was a very festive night, as we worshipped together, open to the Spirit. The teens that came to the party had a lot of fun! I thank you all for your prayers for our youth, and ask you to continue to pray for our youth ministry program.
The Pharisees liked to walk some fine lines. We especially see in today’s Gospel (Lk 6:6-11) that they walk the fine line of having faith without reason. They appear to be men of faith; they believe in God and want to follow Him. But, they don’t appear to have much sense in living out God’s Law. Jesus corrects them yet again, this time on the issue of healing a man with a withered hand on the sabbath: “is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” He is pointing out to them and to us that it would make no sense not to heal this man just because it is the sabbath. Of course Christ should heal this man, and he does. Of course we should help someone who is in need whenever we can. That is God’s Law; it involves faith and reason.
Hearing the Gospel with faith and reason means that we believe in what God has revealed to us, and our minds can make some kind of sense of it. It is the Truth, and the Truth makes sense! It appeals to both faith and reason. We are very blessed in our Catholic faith to approach Divine Revelation in that way. There is really no other religion on Earth that proposes both faith and reason the way the Church does.
One of the priests from my seminary gave a great homily just after 9/11 five years ago. He pointed out how the terrorist attacks are examples of faith without reason. These men truly believed they were doing the Will of God that day. They were men of great faith in their God. But, they applied no reason to their faith. It makes no sense to believe that God willed them to fly airplanes into buildings. God would never actively will someone to harm or kill innocent persons.
As we approach this Eucharist this morning, we remember those who were killed in those heinous and evil crimes. We take comfort in our hope that they are among the Communion of Saints. If they are, they will be with us in a few minutes. In the Eucharist, Heaven and Earth meet. The saints are present at every Mass, even though we can’t see them. We pray that the victims of 9/11 are among the Communion of Saints, and that they will join us in a few minutes in this Chamber of Heaven.