Fifteenth Anniversary of 9-11

(Homily for Twenty-Fourth Ordinary Sunday Year C)

Message: Unity of prayer for our nation and world: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of these I am the foremost..."

Last weekend it was good to say the prayer honoring St. Teresa of Calcutta. In celebration of her canonization Archbishop Sartain sent I Loved Jesus in the Night – Teresa of Calcutta a Secret Revealed. It’s a valuable book because so many people struggle with darkness in their faith and can receive help from St. Teresa of Calcutta.

Like St. Paul her strength came from awareness of her inner weakness. St. Paul considered himself the "foremost sinner." St. Teresa of Calcutta experienced something similar. Here are three quotes from I Loved Jesus in the Night:

• They say people in hell suffer eternal pain because of the loss of God…In my soul I feel just that terrible pain of loss – of God not wanting me – of God not being God – of God not really existing.

• Thank God all went well yesterday, sisters, children, the lepers, the sick and our poor families have all been so happy and contented this year. A real Christmas. Yet – within me – nothing but darkness, conflict, loneliness so terrible. I am perfectly happy to be like this to the end of my life.

• If, Father Paul, at the time of prayer or meditation it seems to you that not only have you been distracted in your prayer, but that you have done nothing at all, never leave that time of prayer angry or bitter with yourself. First – turn to God and give God that nothing.

St. Teresa of Calcutta in spite of her own struggle with inner darkness, brought light of Jesus to others. We need that light especially at this moment in our world and our nation.

We need that light this Sunday as we observe the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. I am at Our Lady of the Mountain in Ashland but will be united with you in prayer. Our bishops made this statement:

We reverently recall those who were most directly affected by this tragedy—those who died, were injured or lost loved ones. In a special way we recall the selfless first responders—firefighters, police, chaplains, emergency workers, and other brave persons—who risked, and many times lost, their lives in their courageous efforts to save others. We also remember how our nation responded to the terrifying events of that day—we turned to prayer, and then turned to one another to offer help and support. Hands were folded in prayer and opened in service to those who had lost so much. We resolve today and always to reject hatred and resist terrorism. The greatest resource we have in these struggles is faith. Our Conference of Bishops issued a Pastoral Message, Living with Faith and Hope after September 11, which drew on the rich resources of our Catholic faith to minister to our nation and world. The truth of that Pastoral Message still resonates today.

Here are some helpful resources as well as links to past homilies for the 24th Sunday, Year C.

Marking the Fifteenth Anniversary of September 11

9/11: The Catholic Church Remembers

Liturgical Considerations For September 11

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Spanish Version

From Archives (Homilies for Twenty-Fourth Sunday, Year C):

2013: Geography of Faith: Egypt and Sinai Desert
2010: God's Perspective
2007: Never Give Up
2004: A Veneer of Forgiveness
2001: He Welcomes Sinners - And Dines With Them
1998: Why God Became Man

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

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Bishop Bob Barron's Homilies

Fr. Brad's Homilies

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Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")

Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)

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