The plane that crashed in the Hudson was "taken out" by a hapless bird that jammed the engine. The first of these bird-strikes happened in 1916 and was seen with great pride as man’s overtaking dominion over the skies. A study released by the FAA Friday shows that pilots report more than twenty strikes per day.
The Pentagon is on high alert. According to the Times April 25, “It operates many aircrafts at low altitude, making them more vulnerable to birds, and many of its planes have a single engine.” The most common species involved in collisions was the mourning dove.
Blessed are those who mourn. In From Union Square to Rome, Dorothy Day wrote of her imprisonment during the : “I felt at first a peculiar sense of disgust and shame at the position I was in, shame because I had been treated as a criminal and made to feel exactly as though I were guilty of the charge on which I had been arrested…” Then she thought of Eugene Deb’s words: “While there is a lower class, I am of it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God” (Lk 12:6).
As Christians heading to D.C. or entering into a fast of solidarity, we identify with these least victims of oppression; they are like the Chinese Uighurs caught in the snares of death at early Christians fed to the lions by Emperor Nero. Like birds of a feather, we claim ourselves as one with the persecuted prisoners of this wretched system.; they are the caught up in the Red Scare; they are the
Christians are known by two words, and these both apply to us here at Kairos. We “come” and we “go."
We come together for a parting blessing on our way to D.C. tonight to recall our purpose. We come together not to be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. We come to do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now.We go because we have to help America be America. We are not obliged to finish her construction but we go because we cannot abandon her.
We go with blessing from the US Catholic Bishops in Challenge of Peace : “The Christian has no choice but to defend peace, properly understood, against aggression” (73). “We believe work to develop non-violent means of fending off aggression and resolving conflict best reflects the call of Jesus both to love and to justice” (78).
We go like doves into the sky. We let ourselves be chewed by airliner engines.
Judged a traitor, Ferdinando Sacco wrote to his daughter Ines a letter goodbye. She was only four years old then on July 19, 1927. “I would like that you should understand what I am going to say to you, and I wish I could write you so plain, for I long so much to have you hear all the heart-beat, eagerness of your father, for I love you so much as you are the dearest little beloved one.” It could have been words written by Binyam Mohamed, the British subject ensnared in Pakistan and sent to Guantanamo.
Judged a terrorist, detainees are stripped of their right to say goodbye. Like Paul Tillich said, "Sin is separation." Therefore we go in sorrow to offer this satyagraha: in sorrow for the separation of truth from law and in penance for the regime of torture inflicted on our human family.
We come together as a sign that God has not forgotten the captives. We go like mourning doves.