Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Requiem, We Remember ...

We Honor Those Who Have Gone Before Us, 
Live With Their Memories, 
and Carry Hopes and Prayers for a Better Future.

Ten Years Later, We Remember and Shall Never Forget.
"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." 
-- St. Francis of Assisi

It is a solemn and poignant day.

Today's readings at Mass were uncannily poignant, as they were about forgiveness and healing.  Lord knows we all need forgiving, or at least most of us do, but we need to forgive, as well.  That's the tough part.

Watching the commemoration ceremony this morning at the World Trade Center, one couldn't hep but be moved.  All those names, the people who perished but are remembered, grieved and honored, cherished always, with their lives lost but their memories carried forever, and their families and loved ones left behind -- how they are affected, too. How all of us are affected.

Sad and poignant, to say the least.  What a waste.
We were struck by three names read consecutively -- the Hanson family, apparently, from Massachusetts, including a man and woman in their 30s and a two-year-old baby, all with the last name Hanson.
Two years old!  How do you forgive that? ... or, for that matter, the loss of any of the people killed or damaged that day, or in any terrorist act, war, accident, mishap, trauma, whatever.
It's a mystery, and all this is tough.
We don't know if today's readings at Mass happened to be the luck of the draw for this date, this Sunday, September 11, 2011 ... which happens to fall on what the Roman Catholic Church calls the "24th Sunday in Ordinary Time."

Today's first reading from the Gospel:
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the Lord's vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
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?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High's covenant, and overlook faults.

-- Sirach 27:30-28:7