911 Homily 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2021
Twenty years ago, this weekend, evil acts struck America.
- Terrorism visited New York City, Washington D.C., and Flight 93. Two thousand nine hundred seventy-seven people died in those attacks carried out by 19 terrorists.
· Remember the firefighters.
· Remember the police.
· Remember the first responders.
· Remember the victims – all who gave their lives and lost their lives.
This act of terrorism laid a cross at the feet of America.
- For weeks after this attack, the country came together to help those in need
- and to pray for the victims and the end to violence against innocent people.
For other people, the act of terrorism motivated them to take up the cross laid at our feet and enter the war to fight terrorism.
- The brave men and women of our uniformed services picked up that cross of anti-terrorism
- and over the last 20 years, we have done our very best to reduce terrorist attacks worldwide.
We pray for this to continue.
In this week’s Gospel, Jesus tells us we must pick up our cross.
- Now, sometimes the cross we must carry may be self-inflicted, addictions, sin, fears.
But other times, the cross we carry is placed upon us from outside sources.
- But either way, we pick up our cross and do battle with evil in this world.
This also means that sometimes we must help others carry their cross, like Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus on the road to Calvary.
- In the case of terrorism, that meant the Armed Services picked up the cross for all of America.
They were and still are on the road to Calvary.
- Today, when we feed the hungry, house the homeless, befriend the stranger, visit the lonely, we assist those people in carrying their cross.
When the cross comes, my friends, embrace it with all your heart and carry it well.
- The cross is the most potent weapon to fight evil.
If there were a more powerful weapon, there would never have been a Calvary.
- It is the greatest act of love to lay down your life for your friends.
Remembering our brave men and women, our friends, sacrificial love is the foundation of democracy, hope, and freedom.
Today we pray for the repose of those killed in the awful terrorist attack and those killed fighting terrorism.
- We pray for those who choose to do evil that the Gospel and the mercy of the Lord transform their hearts.
We pray for all those affected by these tragedies.
The best way to honor these brave men and women is to help someone with their cross.
- Whenever you see someone struggling, perform a random act of kindness.
Reach out boldly to those who need help.
On this Patriots Day, remember my friends, when evil strikes, America rises up, in heroic ways and ways that no one sees but God.
- Every day, be someone’s hero.
God bless you, and God bless America.
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.
Blessed Sacrament Church
11565 66th Ave. N.
Seminole, FL 33772