Memorial Day - Sacrifice in the truest sense.
In this particularly divided time in our nation's history, this Monday gives us an opportunity - if we choose to see it that way - to step back and reflect on how expensive our freedom really is.
Much ink and many digital bits have been expended in arguments over our country's foreign policy. Of course, it is the role of our leaders - whom we elect for that very purpose - to act in the best interest of our country within the perspective of the overall good for all the nations on earth. We can certainly argue on the source of blame - and effect change as appropriate - in how we deal with foreign powers and the response of our leaders in doing so. One thing we certainly
do, however, is place blame upon those tasked to carry out that policy, our soldiers.
Memorial Day is a day especially set aside, not for barbeques and shopping sales, but as a day to remember that there are men and women who have died so that you and I are able to live with greater security, justice, and peace. May these fallen soldiers rest in peace. We owe them both a debt of gratitude and our prayers.
Our soldiers and those who preserve our freedom and peace are deserving of our honor, for they put their lives on the line so that others can live, be more free, and experience abundance. None of us can fail to appreciate the weight that some carry so that we can live well, freely, and comfortably. Freedom is not free; it is costly.
War remains controversial - as it should, given the money and energy we continue to expend on it, despite the many other avenues also available for responding to belligerent powers. But soldiers do not create the politics they are sent to address. They are simply told that there is a danger to be addressed, an injustice to be ended, and so they go.
Patriotism - the love of one’s country - is related to the fourth commandment. As the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
(CCC) indicates: "It is the duty of citizens to contribute to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom. The love and service of one’s country follow from the the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity" (
Scripture hints at this support for the good of a nation and its people. While John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan Roman soldiers, fighters for the empire that oppressed Israel, approached him and asked: “'And what is it that we should do?' He told them, 'Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages'” (
). Instead of telling them to put down their arms in defiance of their superiors the Baptist advised them to be the best soldiers that they could be, to carry out their duties in a spirit of charity and fairness.
Memorial Day: the word “memorial” comes from the Latin word
, a command form of the verb “to remember” So this Memorial Day, in the midst of the celebrations and the anticipation of summer, take a moment to
. Keep in your mind and heart the real reason we hold this day: to honor the sacrifices of men and women that, in their way, reflect the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus - losing their lives so that we can gain ours. And for that we are to give humble thanks.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
Our FORMED Recommendation for the Week
Video Series -
The Wild Goose: Discovering a Deeper Relationship with the Holy Spirit
Based on the image used in my homily last weekend, I
to recommend this series. If you don't have time to view all 14 episodes, I would suggest
Segment 5: Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Wild Goose is a work of the Holy Spirit, which is awakening in the hearts of all those participating God’s love and transforming power. This is a love that has been revealed to us by Jesus Christ and that leads us to our heavenly Father. As you walk through this series, pray for the Spirit to breathe life into your heart.
If you haven't done so already, go to
, click on the REGISTER button and enter our parish code
). Enter your e-mail address on the registration screen and you're good to go!
Do you find these weekly eCommunity mailings useful and think that family members or friends could benefit? Invite them either by having them text
on their smartphone or by signing up on our parish website at
- we'd love to have them join us!
Sent by Fr. Ed Blanchett on Friday, May 25 at 3:00PM