Mass on September 11

I know I’m a couple days behind on this, but grad school has been keeping me busy. Anyhow, I just wanted to point out how absolutely perfectly timed the mass readings for September 11 were. Call it coincidence. Call it Divine Providence. It doesn’t matter; either way, there are lessons to be learned from Word given that day.

First Reading: Sirach 27:30 – 28:7, "Anger and wrath, these also are abominations, and the sinful man will possess them."

Psalm: Psalm 103:8,1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love."

Second Reading: Romans 14:7-9, "For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself."

Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35, "Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.’"

Have you forgiven the 9/11 hijackers?

Comments 4

  1. EmilyE wrote:

    I hadn’t even connected the readings with 9/11. I suppose I should have….

    But for me, they had particular resonance because something I’d learned the day before upset me and hurt me deeply [not for the first time, either], and that situation reminded me that I still carry a certain grudge. Then, I went to Mass and heard those readings — and God started tugging at my heart again.

    I don’t think it’s any accident that I heard those readings exactly when I needed to, even if the reason I needed to hear them was different from the reason that other Americans may have needed to hear them. God’s Providence works on many levels.

    Posted 13 Sep 2005 at 11:10 pm
  2. howard wrote:

    This is a point that needs to be heard. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where forgiveness is equated with weakness, even by people who claim to follow Christ’s teachings.

    If anyone in a political forum were to cite this passage and come to the conclusion that it applies even to the dastardly actions of those terrorists, can you imagine the way that person would be castigated from almost every quarter of political thought?

    It’s strange that we are taught to love our enemies, and if we were to do so in any demonstrable way at this point in U.S. history, it would make us extremely unpopular in the view of most Americans — as I suppose Christ warned us would happen if we truly followed his teachings, right?

    Posted 17 Sep 2005 at 6:08 am
  3. Jerry Nora wrote:

    Howard has a point, though in politics and Hollwood, forgiveness is often conflated with relativism (like the media outlets that had lively debates whether the 9/11 kamikazes were really terrorists, or in fact freedom fighters, or some other horsemanure) or in fact somehow they try to make ourselves responsible for the sin involved.

    Yes, our politicians should be able to admit wrong, and express forgiveness, but the ball is not wholly in their court, as the ministries of truth in our media and universities have obfuscated things so much that a well-intentioned statesman will get wholly misunderstood.

    Posted 18 Sep 2005 at 10:14 pm
  4. howard wrote:

    But is our first responsibility to look good in the eyes of others? Are we supposed to shirk the responsibilities given us by God in order to impress men?

    In many quarters, it seems we’ve gotten to a point where we justify variance from Christ’s teaching with mostly vain reasoning. It isn’t such a far stretch from the “but everyone else is doing it” defense. Society’s standards so seldom coincide with God’s, and when they diverge, I think it’s pretty clear which path a Christian should choose, regardless of popularity or political aspirations.

    Posted 19 Sep 2005 at 12:34 am

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