Our world changes daily. In fact, I re-read this article from a newspaper in 2001:
President Vladimir Putin said in an interview posted on a Russian government Web site Saturday that Russia was ready to cooperate with the United States “in the broadest way.” Putin, taking a working vacation in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, met with Russia's top military, security, and law enforcement officials Saturday and held a telephone discussion with [former] President Bush about anti-terrorist efforts.
It is tragic that a 2001 catastrophe that claimed 3000+ lives inspired this Russian statement. Despite the heartbreak of the events of so-called “Black September” named after a Palestinian terrorist group most active in the early 1970s, we now know that the world understands the evil embedded in people who use terrorism. If nothing else, the tragedy at the WTC reminds us that decent people need one another. All people need to protect the peace that God gives us as a precious gift.
Pope John Paul II ended his first Mass in Kazakhstan with a special prayer back then for Christians and Muslims to work together for peace. He does not want to let the terrorist attacks on the United States drive a further wedge between them. As some of you have heard me say: “Religion makes good people better and bad people worse.” I hate to classify people in this fashion, but facts are facts. From the launch of the human enterprise, we have been prone to murder our siblings (see Genesis 4:1-16).
Two Sundays from now, 4 October 2015, we will celebrate World Communion Sunday. As we celebrate what Christ has done for us, may we also remember what Christ expects of us. Do you remember when Jesus told his disciples: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends? You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:13-14)? May we bear in mind that Jesus wants all of us to live in peace with justice. By so doing we become friends—in all that this word means to loving people everywhere.
Jesus’ enduring words can give us hope in a time of hopelessness. He said: “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world” (John 16:33)!
This Sunday may we pray for the peace we need in our world for World Communion Sunday.