When the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden broke, I was contacted by two radio talk show hosts and a TV reporter wondering if I would like to comment. In the days of yore, I had worked with all three and all three knew of our family loss at the WTC on 9/11. I declined all three. If I had accepted, chances are I would have spoken from today's Gospel.
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved. John 3:16-17.
As a disciple of Christ, my life is given to his work. It is the work of bringing people into the light, not condemning them to the darkness. Osama Bin Laden was always easy to condemn into the darkness. On this issue, it is easier to go with the Philadelphia headline "Got the Bastard," then it is to follow the words of Christ. But I'm going with Christ. This is, as best we know, a lost soul. Nothing to cheer about. That's not what we do.
This is no way a defense of the man. He chose to live in the darkness. Any condemnation comes not from God but from his own choosing, just like the rest of us. He got what he chose, life in the darkness.
When Christ wept for Lazarus, I'm betting he wept for Bin Laden and people like him as well as for all of us who ultimately face death. I bet he wept for them because of the terrible pain caused by their own choice to remain in the darkness. Do I feel a change now that my brother's murderer has been found? Yes, but it's not that false "closure" stuff, but rather a deeper look at my own life and the light and darkness within.
04 May 2011
More good words on bin Laden's death
Deacon Greg Kandra has passed on a thoughful piece on the death of Usama bin Laden written by Jim Tighe. Mr. Tighe is not only a candidate for the diaconate, but also lost a brother in the 9/11 attacks. Tighe writes, with my emphases: