Today we pick up where we left off before Lent began. Today is the Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time.
As you know, Ordinary Time does not mean “ordinary” as in “regular, typical, same old same-old.” Ordinary comes from the word ordinal, meaning, to count or to order. Ordinary Time is simply the count from the beginning of the liturgical year through the end of the liturgical year when there is nothing superceding the count such as Lent and Easter or Advent and Christmas.
Even if we applied the definition of “same old business, different day” to Ordinary Time, today would be anything but ordinary since it is also a national holiday: Memorial Day.
On this day, we pause to give thanks to God for the many men and women throughout the ages who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in order to preserve our freedom.
War is never easy. It is a violent endeavor that maims and kills. It separates families and friends one from another at the very least for a determined amount of time (if someone is lucky enough to return home) to the very most for eternity for those who are not lucky enough to return home. Even the ones who return home are often scarred physically or emotionally.
Yet, they, our heroes, went to war for a high ideal – to preserve our freedom.
We are free to worship. We are free to pursue our own dreams. We are free to speak our mind. That freedom, while highly cherished, comes at a great cost.
This day, let us remember those who have perished in wars throughout the ages. Let us pray that their sacrifices may not have been in vain. Let us all do our best to ensure that peace reigns in our world so that there no longer maybe a need for war.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
FAITH ACTION: If possible, go to Mass today and pray:
- For those who died in wars.
- For an end to war so that no one may have to sacrifice their lives ever again.
- For those who presently serve in the military, that they may return home safely — and soon.