Over at the Deacon’s Bench, Deacon Greg Kandra has posted his homily for today, which not only reflects his experiences as a New Yorker on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but does so in the context of today’s extraordinarily appropriate Mass readings:
It is difficult to capture what this anniversary means to us as Americans, as New Yorkers, as Catholic Christians. The things we feel are almost beyond words. We are still, in many ways, groping in the dark, struggling to find a way to deal with what happened, and how much our lives and our world have changed. Yet, this day, as we come before the altar of God with our prayers and petitions, our grief and our anger, we hear these words from the ancient prophet:
“Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.”
In the gospel, Jesus says it again: “Forgive your brother,” he says, “from your heart.”
But how? I wish I knew. I wish there were a mystical way to click on a forgiveness switch in the human heart. I wish I knew how to love all my enemies and pray for all my persecutors and “forgive my neighbor’s injustice” – even this most heinous injustice of all. …
Conversion is a daily choice. So, is love.
And so, I believe, is forgiveness.
Like all of the challenges of our faith, it is something we need to pray for – to pray to able to do what we are called to do.
To love our neighbor.
To love our enemies.
To forgive our neighbor’s injustice.
C.S. Lewis put it beautifully. “To be a Christian,” he wrote, “is to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven it in us.”
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