by Rev Michael Bresciani -
It is no secret that New York’s Mayor Bloomberg has decided not to ask clergy of any religion to be part in the tenth anniversary ceremonies at Ground Zero. A cross section of responses from both religious and secular sources shows that most people are shocked or at the least scratching their heads in wonderment at Bloomberg’s decision.
Bloomberg said that government “shouldn’t be in the business of picking” one minister or religion over another. That being true, it raises two simple but important questions. The first is, who asked him to pick? Is Mr. Bloomberg the Mayor, or is he New York’s pastor?
The second question should be whether he has considered asking the families of 9/11 victims if they want clergy to be present and to offer prayers. The ceremony is not about the government and it has never been.
In the gospel of Luke Christ gave a parable about a woman who comes to a judge to seek avengement in her cause. The judge ignores her because it is said that he “feared not God, neither regarded man.” (Lk 18: 2) In today’s twisted world who would have guessed we have come to a place where even this has been reversed and now it seems there are those who “fear man and don’t regard God” Has it come to this?
The woman is not deterred but she persistently knocks on his door day after day seeking his assistance in adjudicating her case. Eventually it pays off. He doesn’t give a whit about God and he couldn’t care less about what men think of him, but he knows what it is like to be subjected to the steady dripping of the leaking cistern, the daily braying of sheep and beasts of burden and the incessant murmuring of crowds in the marketplace just outside his chambers in the city. He steps up and helps the woman.
If a hundred clergy were called to pray at the ceremony they could do nothing to bring back those lost in the 9/11 attack. They could only be expected to comfort, encourage, honor and provide empathy for those who have lost so much. It would be an act of respect, of consolation and above all a respite from the indignities the families have already endured.
They have been subjected to disputations about where the perpetrators of the world’s most heinous act of terrorism should be tried. They have been embroiled in the controversy of the proposal to build a mosque at Ground Zero, and now at the last comes this new insult from the minds of those who are like so many “reeds shaken in the wind.” (Mt 7: 11)
If the choice were left up to me I would pick the same clergyman who prayed this incredible prayer.
“Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in Thy fear, and dying in Thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy son, Jesus Christ.”
Oh, I forgot we can’t ask him to pray because no clergy or religious people have been asked to pray and besides this man has been dead for centuries. His name is George Washington and these words were found in his personal prayer book.
HT: American Thinker