“Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well.” ~ Jennifer M. Granholm
This morning at 9:00 a.m., we will have a Mass for Memorial Day. At the Mass, we remember all who gave their lives for us so that we might live in peace, free to worship as we please, free to make our own choices, free to be pursue whatever career we might wish to pursue. We often take our freedom for granted and forget the sacrifices that so many others made in order for us to have the freedoms that we enjoy.
Even more sad, we often reflect upon that once a year: on Memorial Day. Memorial Day should not be a one-time deal. Memorial Day should be a lived reality. Each day of our lives we should remember the sacrifices made for us by those heroes who left family, friends, and home in order to fight a war thousands of miles away in countries foreign to them. They went to war because they believed in freedom and were willing to give up their lives if necessary so that we could enjoy freedom. That is something worth remembering more than once a year.
We often treat our faith the same way. How many people remember the suffering and death of Jesus more than just on Holy Week once a year? How many people recall Christ’s sacrifice for us and His triumph over sin and death more than just at Easter?
We are a people who too often compartmentalize ourselves. We do not think about the Lord unless we need something, almost as if he is Santa Claus or some genie that can grant wishes. We need to cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus and that takes more than once a year or even once a week. Our relationship with the Lord needs to be on a day-to-day basis.
Our remembrance of the heroes who gave their lives for our freedom needs to be more than annual as well. We best honor them, as Jennifer Granholm suggests, by treating the living well. Then the dead and their sacrifices will make sense to us and will please them as they look over us from the Kingdom of Heaven.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all who gave their lives so that we could live in peace. Pray, as well, that all war may one day cease and there never be a necessity for violence again.