Similar to Pearl Harbor Day on December 7, this day (September 11) forever will be a solemn day in American history. It is a day when we recall with reverence those innocents who lost their lives and those heroes who gave their lives attempting to save others. It is a day to mourn and pray with the survivors, especially those who lost dear friends and loved ones. It also is a day for Passionists to “lift high the Cross” while proclaiming that nothing, no evil, no tragedy will ever diminish the light of Christ and the love of God for each of us. As theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Christ is the Center” and the Center still holds. 9/11 is a day for us to walk gently, kindly and mercifully with all who suffer as we give witness to that generous love. The Light shines on in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome Him!
Very simply today, we have readings from Paul and Luke that teach us to keep Christ at the center. Keep his wisdom-way at the center of all we say and do and think. It is no small task for us for we are human as Paul recognizes, humans with very real weaknesses and sins …. unfettered anger, malice, slander, excessive foul language, and lying. Perhaps one of the greatest sins is lying to ourselves about who we think we are or are not. Sometimes, we pretend to be someone who we are not. We can put on pretenses. Let’s make an effort to take up Paul’s recommendation to let go of the false-self and to “put on the new self” … the true-self that lives deeply in our heart. Its then that we find ourselves wonderfully free to live “in the image of the creator.” We can do this whenever we let Christ be our life.
When we can do this, we can dispel a little more of the darkness of our world. That could be among the greatest tributes we can give to those who lost their lives on 9/11. We can proclaim for them and for us that the Light still does shine on while continuing to bring blessing and love. For the Christian, “… Christ is all and in all,” the Alpha and the Omega, and the Center still holds.