Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
This is the fourth time since 2001 that September 11th falls on a Sunday. It is an odd occurrence for the faithful; to remember a day that was so shocking and scarring; so terrifying and confusing. A day that we can’t help but look back upon with nostalgia.
The tenth anniversary was a Sunday. And while many gathered in New York for a memorial, many of us went to church. And the lectionary passage that day was perfect: Peter asking Jesus how many times he should forgive. And Jesus’s response was essentially: just keep doing it.
The legacy of September 11 is not one of forgiveness, however. And that’s what made it hard to preach and so powerful to hear that day.
We get a different message this year. Of searching for the lost, showing incredible generosity in the process, and then throwing a party when the lost has been found. When all hope was lost and yet, here it is! The dead has been raised!
This message comes as a response to callousness, division, and hatred. Of the powerful rejecting Jesus’s open-hearted welcome and generosity to the outcast.
As we remember all that September 11th evokes in us, let us consider how Jesus responds to cruelty and gossip. Essentially saying: Who doesn’t show mercy? Who among us wouldn’t show love so generously to the outcast, the immigrant, the poor, the widow, and yes, even the traitor? It is what we do.