Nineteen Years

11 Sep

Jesus said to his disciples:  “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  (Lk 6:27-28)

Today is an awful remembrance for many as we recount the events that took place on September 11, 2001.  As I am sure you do, I remember that day quite vividly.

I was in Madison, Wisconsin at our Regional Director’s of the Diaconate annual meeting.  I had sneaked off of the property early to gas up my car so that, after the morning session, I could get back on the road.  While I was at the gas station, I saw the reports of the plane crash in the Twin Towers.  As I was watching, the second tower was struck by a second plane.

I knew at that very moment that my meeting was over and that our world had changed forever.  All I wanted to do was get back to Michigan City so that I could address the situation with my students.  I did not want them to go home in fear that day.  As I returned to our morning meeting, I found out that all the other deacons directors were planning on going back to their homes as well.

As I drove home, I became concerned that I might not make it.  I had to drive through Chicago in order to get back home and the radio was reporting the possibility that, beside air traffic being stopped, traffic might be closed leading into our major cities.  They feared that Chicago might itself become a target for coordinated attacks.

I prayed up a storm because I wanted to get home and give the students the simple message: do not be afraid.  Thankfully, God heard my prayers and I made it back to Michigan City in time to have a 2:00 p.m. All School Mass for the victims of the attacks as well as to encourage the students to put their trust in God.

Over the next few days, I heard a lot of hate from a lot of people including some of my own parishioners.  Many seemed to want to boil down the problem to a simple solution: “The Muslims are to blame.  We need to get rid of all of them!”  I could not believe the venom of that statement coming from so many people.

God is a God of love.  All major religions believe that.  All major religions have problems with some of their fanatics who turn God into a God of hate or vengeance.

We need to remember that God is love and that His love will prevail.

Jesus encouraged us to pray for our enemies.  Let us put our enemies, our naysayers, and our haters into the hands of God.  Let God’s love reign supreme!

FAITH ACTION:  Is there anyone who holds you in contempt, who mistreats you whenever the chance arises?  Do you avoid that person and hold that person in contempt as well?  Pray for that person today.  Ask God to shower His love upon that person.