ALLEN/ Staff Photographer
US Marines during a special mass at Stella Maris Church in St.
attack on humanity' with you
following are excerpts of the homily presented by Monsignor Richard
Albert on Monday, September 17 at a special mass for the government
and people of the United States. The mass was held at the Stella
Maris Church in St. Andrew.
happened on September 11 was not done in God's name; violence in the
inner cities, the wars in the Middle East, and Northern Ireland, are
not done in God's name. What we have seen and heard having been done
on September 11 and in all the areas that I referred to is what hate
does and today we are gathered in the name not of the United States,
not in the name of our fallen Caribbean nationals, but we are gathered
in the name of all civilisation, for no matter where we come from,
no matter who we are all of us lost someone on that tragic day.
many countries died on that day, and so, brothers and sisters, we
gather yes as Jamaicans, Americans, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Protestants,
but more importantly, we gather as members of the human race, we gather
as brothers and sisters, as children of God. Today we lift our voices
in prayer for the government and people of United States who have
been traumatised by such a wicked event. We
are here to pray for our brothers and sisters of the United States
and for the families of the passengers and staff of American Airlines
and United Airlines flights. We mourn with them in a most personal
and special way. I, too, mourn personally, my cousin, Sean Lugano,
died in the World Trade Centre tragedy.
act of death and pain that is the result of hate must now challenge
us as citizens of the world to a new sense of hope and purpose.
Make no mistake about it, this was an attack on humanity and on
all of us in a way that can only be identified with the wickedness
of slavery and the pain of the Jewish Holocaust.
What is our
response to evil? What is our response to such an overwhelming attack
on life? As Christians, as disciples of the prince of peace, we
know what our response must be. We heard it in today's (Genesis)
scriptures that Jesus himself challenges (Colossians) us to confront
evil and violence with (Luke) justice and compassion for others.
He has told us in the gospel (John 13) that they will know you are
my disciples if you have love for one another, and this is the challenge
DOWIE/ Staff Photographer
Marines stand at attention while Governor-General, Sir Howard
Cooke signs the Condolence Book at the US Embassy.
for the disciple,
to face evil with goodness, to respond to hate with love, to offer
forgiveness in the face of malice.
of the Lord, brothers and sisters, we are challenged by such terrible
events to destroy whatever evil is within ourselves, whatever prejudice
- racial or political - the challenge is for each and everyone of
us to look at ourselves and be sure that we respond to evil as disciples
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those men and
women who collaborated to commit this dastardly act were people
who were prepared to act heroically by the sacrifice of their own
lives, to promote evil, to destroy life. Now it is for us to act
heroically to promote life, to promote good, to be men and women
of integrity and to be ready to sacrifice to promote liberty, freedom
for all and opportunity for all.
In an age when
humanity has become so cruel to humanity we must set our eyes on
a course of life seeking to promote life with a special preference
for the poor and humble.
God - whether
we call him Allah, Yahweh, Jesus - he is a God of peace, healing
and reconciliation. God does not bless war and the Bible has told
us that vengeance belongs to God and God alone. We cannot allow
ourselves to become like the very people who threaten the existence
of our life and civilization. We must seek to put the values of
life, peace and justice above our desire to destroy, strike back
and to kill.
Let the event
of September 11 challenge us as a civilization to seek to promote
peace, the equality and justice through dialogue rather than the
use of force. Let the use of force be the last of all our options,
for we see what hate does when it is unleashed on innocent civilians.
However, justice, also, demands that those responsible for this
dastardly act be brought before the courts of law.
is not only an opportunity for America, but it is an opportunity
for us all to act heroically and to display the power of lover over
the power of hate; the power of service over the power of dominance.
has a right to defend itself and we can understand the desire and
the need for all peoples to defend themselves against such attacks
on human life. We pray that God will give the President of the United
States and the coalition he is forming all the wisdom and grace
they need to make those wise and weighty decisions that will bring
true and lasting peace to a world that is so divided by hate and
anger. This act of aggression on humanity should serve as a wake-up
call for all of us to rid from within our institutions and our societies,
prejudice, hate and evil.
The path to
peace is more difficult than the path to war, but as disciples of
the Prince of Peace we must make every effort to defend ourselves
by peaceful means rather than violent means. However, if that is
not the case, if, unfortunately, defending ourselves means taking
up arms let us do it for the benefit of all mankind. Let it be accomplished
out of love not out of hate, let it be conducted out of a desire
for peace and not for war so that we can form a civilization based
BY IAN ALLEN/ Staff Photographer
Scenes from the special mass held at Stella Maris Church
in memory of those who died during the attacks on the US.