Matt Ziemkiewicz reflected in an email last night how Fr. Mike was such an incredible support to his family after the loss of his sister, Jill, on TWA 800. And, he just discovered this excerpted homily Fr. Mike gave on the day before the terrorist attacks. Of course as it went, Fr. Mike died on September 11,2001. Matt added, “He always told me that healing doesn’t mean forgetting.” I really like this!
Excerpts from the Last Homily of Father Mychal Judge FDNY Chaplain,at Mass for Firefighters: Sept. 10, 2001
Let us pray. Thank you Lord for life. Thank you for love. Thank you for goodness. Thank you for work. Thank you for family. Thank you for friends. Thank you for every gift because we know that every gift comes from you, and without you, we have and are nothing. So, as we celebrate this day in thanksgiving to you, keep our hearts and minds open. Let us enjoy each other’s company, and most of all, let us be conscious of Your presence in our lives and in a special way in the lives of all those who have gone before us. And Father we make our prayer, as always, in Jesus’ name who lives with You forever and ever.
That’s the way it is. Good days. And bad days. Up days. Down days. Sad days. Happy days. But never a boring day on this job. You do what God has called you to do. You show up. You put one foot in front of another. You get on the rig and you go out and you do the job – which is a mystery. And a surprise. You have no idea when you get on that rig. No matter how big the call. No matter how small. You have no idea what God is calling you to. But he needs you. He needs me. He needs all of us.
The retirees – He needs your prayers. He needs your stopping by occasionally to give strength and support and to tell the stories of the old days. We need the house and to those of you that are working now, keep going. Keep supporting each other. Be kind to each other. Love each other. Work together and do what you did the other night and the weeks and the months and the years before and from this house, God’s blessings go forth in this community. It’s fantastic!
What great people. We love the job. We all do. What a blessing that is. A difficult, difficult job and God calls you to it. And then He gives you a love for it so that a difficult job will be well done. Isn’t He a wonderful God? Isn’t He good to you? To each one of you? And to me! Turn to Him each day. Put your faith and your trust and your hope and your life in His hands, and He’ll take care of you and you’ll have a good life. And this house will be a great, great blessing to this neighborhood and to this city.
So today, we reflect, remember, do community service. And, tomorrow, we go back to advocacy! That is certainly part of the healing for us here at NADA/F. Today, no matter what your faith, find peace in your own way. Since I live close by, I’ll be having my reflection today at the Pentagon Memorial.