IF my loved ones were laying in the rubble of the World Trade Centre, I’m not sure how easy it would be for me to follow Jesus’ message of compassion, forgiveness and love (Fr McKenzie, CL 7/10/01).
As you mentioned, God loves participants on both sides, not loving terrorism, but loving the terrorist. It is a struggle to understand the terrorist’s belief that their actions, which we recognise as evil, are done in the name of their God.
The hijacker, Mohamed Atta, who flew the Boeing 767 into the World Trade Centre, left behind a will in which he asked his fellow Muslims to pray that he goes to heaven and testify that he died a Muslim, believing in God’s religion. As far as I can ascertain, Mohamed Atta’s God is the same God that I, and all Christians love and try to follow.
The Catholic Leader (30/9/01) published an excellent guide on the lovely faith of the Muslim community, and in part, said that Muslims believe in and love and worship one God, who is merciful and almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. They believe in life after death and accountability for one’s actions.
How then, I wonder, can Osama bin Laden believe that this same loving and merciful God would condone his killing of so many innocent people, when the God that I know teaches that to kill is wrong, and the dignity of all human life is sacrosanct.
The guide also mentioned the Muslim’s belief that Jesus Christ was a great prophet. If this is so, why haven’t the terrorists heeded the message that this prophet taught us about love? How, I wonder, are they able to profess their love and belief in God, and proceed to shatter the innocence of a nation through their evil actions?
It seems that Jesus’ message of love has been overshadowed by hate. Throughout history we have seen, time and again, that hate is the world’s greatest enemy and evil’s strongest weapon.
Yes Fr McKenzie, we do need to be guided by Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness, no matter how deeply our emotions run, because that is what He taught us to do.
We may not have suffered as much as the Americans on September 11, but many times in our own personal life we are tried by God and, just sometimes, the pain of our trial is so deep and overwhelming that it becomes a struggle not to give in to despair and accuse God of deserting us in our darkest hour. Our faith has taught us that this will never happen, as God promised that He would never leave our side.
I have no doubt that God is tenderly caring for the sorrowing people of America, blessing them with the grace and courage to deal with their pain and embrace good over evil.
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