The World's Religious Vacuum

Homily of the Mass for Peace and remembrance of the victims in the USA, delivered September 16.

Brothers and sisters, we are gathered this morning to pray, to come into the presence of Godalmighty and merciful, to pray for our brothers and sisters who died inthetragic events of this week, in the USA. We are here with our own pains,withthe pains of the American people and American Churches, with whom we areina constant and fraternal relation in our quest of justice and peace inthisland. To all of you, Americans here sharing in this prayer, we presentoursincere condolences. With you, and with the people and the Church ofAmerica, we mourn the departed, we entrust them to the mercy of God. Inthesame time, we pray for the survivors, for the relatives and friends, andforthe leaders of America, may God give them faith, hope and strength to goonbuilding their land, with their faith in God and love for their brothersandsisters in America and in the world.

In the first reading of today, from the book of Exodus, we read thefollowing versus: "I shall make a great nation out of you"(Exodus 32:10). For that, Moses had prayed and asked the intercession of theFathers: "Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". The greatnessofthe nation, for the Jewish people as for all peoples of the earth, willdepend from the presence of those forefathers and their followers, theprophets and the saints, who had listened to the word of God, who hadmadeit known to the people, and who, through the spirit of God Almighty andmerciful, had prepared the peoples of the earth to become great nations.This is to say that the greatness of every nation will always rely upontheword of God, and from the capacity of the nation, leaders and people, tolisten to it and to be faithful to it. The nearer to God, to hisgreatness,the nearer to the true greatness in this world. Jesus had also said:"Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect". Allprogressand all greatness in this world can only be a sharing in the greatnessandthe perfection of God.


The question comes naturally to the mind: There are so many interpretersofthe Word of God and they are often contradictory. Some find in the WordofGod love and mercy, and some find death and hatred. Jesus had said:"Be perfect as Your Father in heaven is perfect". So ourguideis God himself. Those interpreters who are conform in theirinterpretationwith the love and mercy of God, those we can trust and follow. Those whoaffirm attributes contrary to the very essence of God, as hatred anddeathand exclusion of other brothers and sisters, cannot be from God; theycannotwork neither for God nor for the children of God; they cannot build thekingdom of God neither in this world nor in the world to come. Those wholove, those for whom God is the source of their own love for others,theseare the interpreters of the word of God.

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