10 Years ago the date September. 11th took on a whole new meaning and our lives changed.
We all remember where we were when it happened.
On 9/11 I was in Washington DC and as looked South west in the sky I say the smoke from the Pentagon rising in the sky.
The whole university of 6000 pretty frightened young people and faculty gathered in the National Shrine for Mass. Some were afraid to come in thinking that a terrorist might mistake the dome of the Shrine with the Capital Building dome.
We had all night confessions and Eucharistic Adoration. They were very well attended.
At that Mass Cardinal McCarrick said something that has remained with me since that fateful day.
He begged the whole university not to let hate win.
You see hate wins and evil wins when they cause us to hate or do evil.
Think about it when someone treats us in a hateful and evil way and we respond in kind, then evil wins and love loses.
Your Boss has a bad day at home. He comes to the office and he is not him/herself they start chewing out the people that work for them, including you.
You have a miserable day and awful day and you go home and your kid runs up to you and asks you to play with them. Or your wife asks you a question.
You are still hurting from the experience at work and your respond poorly.
And sometimes that the chain of hurt or hate or anger or bitterness goes on and on and on and on.
Whenever we respond to evil with evil or anger with anger or hate with hate.
If the last person in the last row of church hit the person next to them and that person hit the person next to them and that person next to them etc.
The hurt which began in one heart would be now written on many hearts.
In situations like this the Gospel calls us to respond to hate and anger and resentment in a radical way.
As followers of Christ we can’t let any hurt or anything evil take root in our hearts.
And when we are hurt we have to respond with love not 1 time not 7 times not times but 77 times… in other words forever.
Followers of Jesus must never ever respond to evil with evil, or hurt with hurt, or anger with anger.. we are called to respond to evil with love.
We don’t have to be sucker and just allow ourselves to be repeatedly hurt. We can remove ourselves from hurtful situations however we can’t respond to evil with evil.
I know its hard.
I know it may even seem impossible,
but that’s what Jesus did and that we he calls us to do.
“Love your enemies do good to those who persecute you” Mt 5:44
“Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Has no one condemned you then I do not condemn you John 8:10
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone John 8:6
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. Mt 18:22
If anyone here thinks that it easy being a follower of Christ…
If anyone here thinks that it is easy to be Catholic…
Then they haven’t read the instruction manual.
The only place that we can stop hate or anger is in our heart.
The only place we can prevent another Sept 11th is in our hearts.
As many of you know the First Sunday of Advent this year we and the whole English speaking Catholic world will begin using a new translation of the Mass.
Archbishop Mansell asked that we use this Sunday to begin to prepare you for the change.
The first translation after the VCII was done 40 years ago and was never intended to be the final translation.
We all know that there are several translations of the Bible, some are translated in a literal way and others offer a generalized translation.
This new translation was requested by Blessed John Paul II in 2000 and it remains much more faithful to the original Latin Text.
It is so important to remember that this is a new translation not a new Mass. And the new words which we use to pray can push us on to a greater appreciation and reverence for the Mass.
In the Bulletin for the next several weeks we will provide additional inserts to help you understand the meaning of the changes and help you renew your appreciation of the Mass.
There will also be a lot of resources on our parish website. Including some great videos explaining the changes. On the first Sunday of Advent you will find pew cards in the pews to help us learn what to say.
Change is never easy but the promise of this new translation of the mass is that we will be able to enter more deeply into the mystery of our Faith and the Mystery of God’s love for the World.
Once again this year we will be starting up our RCIA Program. This is the program the church uses to welcome people into our community. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a Catholic please visit our website for more information. Last year 7 very fine people became members of our Church. All are welcome we look forward to hearing from you.
God Bless You All