St. George
Serbian Orthodox Church
Carmichaels, PA

In Prayerful Remembrance: September 11, 2001

by Fr. Rodney Torbic


The minds of millions of people are drawn to remembering the horrific attack upon America ten years ago. The shocking attack shook the populace. Death and destruction reigned in these modern times at an unthinkable level. Thousands of lives were lost. Thousands were injured. Millions and millions of lives were changed forever.

The attack took place on the day when the Beheading of St. John the Baptist was commemorated. Evil and violence led to the death of the innocent St. John the Baptist centuries and centuries ago. Evil and violence led to death of thousands of innocent people in America on September 11, 2001.

The response to the attack in 2001 turned many minds to God for prayer and consolation. Healing was needed then. Healing continues to be needed. Relationships at all levels need to be civil, respectful and full of love. The Holy Apostle Paul was prone to violence until his life was changed by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Apostle Paul made the profound statement: ”Love never fails.” (I Cor. 13:9)

Individuals can begin to change society one person at a time by changing the self. Self-control is difficult but with Christ it is possible. The Holy Apostle Paul became a changed man. He went from being a persecutor of Christians to become a leading apostle. Millions and millions of lives have been influenced by the change in the single life of the Holy Apostle Paul. St John the Baptist was not deserving of a violent death. The innocent men, women and children killed and injured ten years ago on September 11, 2011 did not deserve to be the victims of violence.

Ten years later the violence that occurred stirs deep seated remembrances and the search for answers. Answers to death and life are found in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The totally innocent Jesus Christ was crucified. Jesus’ friends and Mother looked on and witnessed His suffering just as many witnessed the suffering and death of innocents ten years ago. The world was very dark that Great and Holy Friday when Jesus died, just as the atmosphere was very dark in America as the smoke rose from the sites of attack ten years ago.

Christ rose from the grave and demonstrated His power over death. He showed He was greater than death. He showed that in Him was life. For those who follow Him, there is life-everlasting. We choose today and every day whether we will yield to the forces of evil or whether we will seek the good. The Holy Apostle Paul relinquished his old self to follow Christ. St. John the Baptist was beheaded but lives on in the Kingdom of God. Those who died in the attack ten years ago live on in the hearts and minds of millions. We honor their memory of the victims of September 11, 2001 and heal the hurt by following the proven path of Christ as did St. John the Baptist and the Holy Apostle Paul.

St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
August 29/September 11, 2010.
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Beheading of St. John the Baptist

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