The tragedy in New York and Washington on September 11 was immense. Paradoxically so, too, was its effect for good in the Untied States and the World. Countless people displayed moral courage and selflessness in a world where there is also so much self-centredness. People in the States and around the world were united by heartfelt prayer.

Counties are coming together and collaborating in a way we have never seen before. We know Russia and NATO had some 30 years of cold war. Apparently in the last ten years they have been tiptoeing around each other. Now they are allies against terrorism. The need to stop terrorism and work for peace and the security of its citizens is galvanising many nations.

We all have read so much in recent weeks and have our own examples and reflections on how good has come from this terrible suffering.


The suffering and death of Jesus on the Cross brought us immeasurable good. It brought life to the world. It reconciled us with God and one another. It gained for us forgiveness of our sins. In forgiving us we are empowered to forgive each other.

The Mystery of the cross is celebrated in each Eucharist. The Eucharist is just so rich and has many aspects to it. one aspect or part of the Eucharist is that it is the Sacrifice of Christ. Each Eucharist is a renewal and celebration of Jesus'€™ life given for us. As the words of the consecration say, '€œThis is my Body given for you '€¦. this is my Blood shed for you'€¦.'€.

What are the '€˜crosses'€™ in our lives?  We each have them. They show themselves in the burdens, hardships, stresses, sufferings and sorrows of this life as well as in the efforts we make to live the Gospel and work for peace and justice. From them, Jesus wants to draw so much for ourselves and others. He is with us totally and therefore with us in our '€˜crosses'€™.

What can help us in our living, our giving, and bearing our crosses and what can bring good out of them is to unite our cross with that of Jesus.  Rather, it is consciously to remember that Christ and his cross, is one with us and our cross.

The Eucharist is most powerful here. In the Eucharist Jesus is with us fully. Here the one great giving of the life on the cross is renewed in our midst '€“ made present for us.

What will help us to draw on the power of the Eucharist as we go through life is to listen and linger more and more on the words of consecration, '€œbody given for us, blood shed for us'€. These words will deepen our faith to know that Jesus is with us in every difficulty and even in what we might call catastrophe.  He will give us the strength we need in those times. He will also draw so much good from these occasions as he did for the whole world from his own cross.

October 2001