"Isle of hope, isle of tears,
Isle of freedom, isle of fear,
But it's not the isle I have left behind."
These words are taken from a haunting Irish-immigrant song. These words are used to describe the land of promise, America. For this immigrant, these words also describe the America I have come to experience and know. It was shortly after my arrival in 1963 when President Kennedy was killed. Those were dark says of uncertainty. They were the precursor of other days, of fear and struggle. Which one of us will ever be able to leave behind us that bleak, and disastrous day of September 11th, 2001? Yet, into that darkness came a little light, and a glimmer of hope. Christina - Taylor Green was born on that fateful day when the world as we knew, ceased to exist, so a new world had to be encountered and lived in. Christina's birth was God's way of saying despite what may happen, I am still involved in my creation. I have not lost confidence in humankind, see…I am sending a new source of My Presence. I am sending this new creation to be a reminder that there will always be goodness entering into creation. My creation will continue. On that day when 3,000 died, a new life began. A life so full of energy, enthusiasm, hope and dreams that has now, too, come to a sudden end. This ending has begun a new way of living for Christina, and for you and I. Christina has returned to the infinite love she was sent forth from nine years ago. We have to live dealing with her absence, and the questions surrounding her death. Death, because it is a sacrament, will trigger questions about was is true and what is real. Death will always make us question the reality of our own existence, and the values that shape our life. Christina was able to point to the fact that on the day of tragedy, when so many died, her life began. What a life she shared with her family, friends, school, parish, and community. She had already set her eyes on a life of service, and leadership. We, as a church, a state, a nation, have been drawn into her life, and are left with a sense of awe, and wonder. Did not St. Irenaeus say many centuries ago: " The glory of God is the human person fully alive"?
We have been gifted with God's presence in and through the life of Christina. That is the reality hidden and revealed in each and every life. Christina made God look really GOOD. We will have to rely on that same God of goodness to become our living Savior at this time. There was a great opening prayer in this week end's liturgy, we prayed as follows: "Almighty and ever present Father, your watchful care reaches from end to end and orders all things in such power that even the tensions and tragedy of sin cannot frustrate your loving plans." We need to make that prayer our daily prayer. We must ask for a real deepening of our faith in what that prayer says. It is a prayer of confidence in the fact that God's power is, and I repeat is greater, than all the forces of hatred, prejudice, bigotry, and cynicism. The same Spirit that was the source of Christina's vitality is the same Spirit that was imparted to you and I the day we were Baptized. Christina was the model of what could happen. We have the opportunity to continue the good she has begun. As we do so, we will continue the mission and ministry of Jesus who became the Christ. Then death is not an end, it is the beginning of a new and different way of living.