This morning I went to Mass just like every Sunday morning but today was an anniversary. An anniversary of an attack on America; 9-11. My memories of that day are not as dramatic as many but I do have them. I left my home before the first plane hit and got to work just before the second plane hit, so I didn’t see it live on TV. My husband was in North Carolina and had been in New York the week before. My children panicked because they couldn’t remember but were okay once I told them where he was. But back to Mass this morning, the readings were Exodus 32: 7-11, 13-14 where Yahweh sees the misbehavior of the Isrealites building a golden calf and threatens to destroy them and Moses pleads for mercy. And I wondered, was 9-11 our punishment for the golden calf of greed and ignoring the poor. And who pleaded for us for God to not totally destroy us. Was 9-11 the warning of Medjugorie and we just ignored it too?
The second reading today was Timothy 1:12-17 in which Paul praises the mercy of God. This is our call to receive mercy for whatever reason we may have. I know that I am far from perfect and that I do not deserve to even be allowed to be in the same room with Jesus in the Mass but His Mercy allows me not to just be with him but to be United with Him through Holy Communion. And finally the Gospel of Luke : 1 – 15. The story of the Good Shepherd and the woman who lost a coin and the Prodigal Son. We are the lost, we are the sons and daughters who can return thanks to God’s Mercy.
As many of you know, this is the Year of Mercy which ends on November 20, 2016, and with this Year of Mercy comes the offering of a plenary indulgence through an act of repentance, praise and communion with Jesus. If you are Catholic you go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession, attend Mass, receive Communion and walk through the Door of Mercy at designated pilgrimage sites. What does a plenary indulgence give you? A cleansing of ALL SINS on your soul. Your soul sparkles like the glorified souls who have already made it to heaven. What a wonderful gift this is and why is it important because 15 years ago, thousands of people woke up, got dressed, went to work and died. If they had known that they were going to die, they would have done all they could to live both physically and eternally. You are being given an opportunity they did not have, a chance to be ready. Mercy is an awesome gift from our Awesome God.