September 10, 2016
On the anniversary of 9/11, we can remember the heroism of that tragic day, and join in future efforts to seek and save the lost.
Today is the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On that horrible morning, a group of terrorists flew commercial jets into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon. A fourth plane was high above Pennsylvania, on a path toward Washington, DC, when it was brought down by its brave passengers.
How well we remember. September 11 is a day we will never forget. But as Christians, we do not remember in the sense of simply recollecting an important event. No, our approach is different, and it is deeply rooted in the biblical idea of remembrance. This is the approach that Jesus took when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” In the Christian faith, remembrance brings an event from the past into the present. It recalls an event in such a way that it has a powerful effect on the here and now.
Think of Holy Communion, the meal that reminds us of the gruesome death of the Son of God. Jesus’ body was broken and his blood was spilled not in a glass and steel tower but on a wooden cross. When we remember Jesus at his table, we realize that he is with us now, present in a powerful way, transforming our todays and our tomorrows.
Something similar should be happening right now. As we remember September 11 — also known as 9/11 — we should be focusing on how the events of 2001 can shape 2016, and how our memory of the past can transform our actions in the future.
In today’s Gospel, we have the familiar “Prodigal Son” passage. The task of a parent is to give their child good grounding in Christian values so that if and when a break occurs, any mistake that the child makes will enable them to learn without being so devastating as to ruin their entire lives. Today’s parents have a real challenge on their hands. They are required to give their children good grounding, and at the same time, allow them the freedom to make their own life choices. One of the biggest challenges that parents face is allowing their children to fall flat on their faces while at the same time being there for them to welcome them back into the family– even though they may have really screwed up and even given the family a black eye. Jesus shows us that there should be no shame and no shame to return home.
Let us never forget 9/11 and live our lives in a manner that honors the fallen and their families. May God bless us...and God bless America!