9/11 Irony

Hello all.

Just getting ready to head off to bed before the 5:30am wake up here at SJV. Things are still rockin and I’m still having a blast.

On retreat, one of the priests here explained that the second we entered the seminary, the evil one placed a target on our backs and will work over time to try to get us out. Personally, I believe this to be the truth because I have experienced it first hand. The devil will use tricks like confusion, misconceptions, and doubt to try to get us out of here. The spiritual warfare has been fierce and very different for everyone. Please keep us in your prayers as we battle to do God’s will.

I wanted to share with you a quick thought….more of a realization, really…regarding today’s readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary time and their relationship to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I find it pretty ironic since, through the plan of God, nothing is coincidental.

The Gospel reading tells the story of Jesus explaining forgiveness and he urges us to forgive our neighbors “not 7, but 77 times.” Jesus here is urging us to forgive without ceasing. Remember the old passage: “whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever is loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Whatever we harbor inside of ourselves on earth will follow us into the afterlife and God will look upon that with His judgement.

Admittedly, it is hard to forgive those who planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks, especially since they claimed to be acting in the name of their Islam God. (Islam, by the way, is a religion which condemns violence.) How can I sit here and ask people to forgive those horrible terrorists for their actions against our nation? I can do it because of the loving mercy God has bestowed upon me and upon all creation. I can do it because, as Nelson Mandela described, “resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

I’m not suggesting we move forward with our lives as if the tragedy never happened. I’m suggesting we move forward with our lives as a moved people; as a people and nation moved with compassion for others and with a stronger desire than ever to forgive the our Lord Jesus steps to our level and forgives us.

Forgiveness is hard. It requires a certain level of humility many people, myself included, must work to achieve. I pray tonight and always that we might go the extra mile to see Christ Jesus in all we encounter and become inspired to humble ourselves and offer our forgiving hearts to them.

In Christ Jesus,
RA

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