Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 is my late Aunt Vi’s birthday. Growing up I sent her a birthday card every year and since she has died I remember her on this day and pray for her eternal rest and peace.

But then came the infamous “9/11” and Aunt Vi’s birthday has been eclipsed by the horror of that day. So sad! The heart pain is still there, I am sure, for all of us as we remember the unbelievable events of that day.

Can you believe the readings for Mass today?! Sirach 27-28, Psalm 103, Mt 18:21-35. As you probably know, they are all about forgiveness and God’s mercy and compassion. (Here is a link to those readings)

I was struck by these words from the Book of Sirach:
Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the LORD?

As the Sisters shared on the readings last evening before dinner, we talked a lot about “forgive your neighbor’s injustice”. So much injustice in the world. This is a tall order. I was reminded of the Scripture story of Jesus cleansing the temple. In His righteous anger he took a whip and upset the money changers tables and chased the merchants out of the temple – out of his father’s house. Jesus had to confront the injustice – the greed – but He loved the sinners. As God he could not not love the merchants and the money changers. That is the challenge for us. We hate sin but we are called to forgive the sinner. But we can’t do that without God’s grace. We can beg God to shed his mercy on the terrorists who were responsible for so many deaths. We hate what they did. But we are called to forgive them – as best we can.

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