Honoring Mary and Honoring Those Who Died in Service

A few years ago Pope Francis decreed that the Monday after Pentecost would be celebrated as the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. That’s today (5/29/23). Our first reading today comes from Genesis right after Adam and Eve commit the first sin, the original sin. It was the first sin but it was not the last sin. Sin continues today.

We deal with sins of greed, people who want more for themselves. The problem is that when we take more for ourselves than we should, then someone else has less.

We also face the sin of pride. Sometimes people are more concerned with how good they look rather than caring for the needs of others. They might even be consumed by a conquest for power.

Unfortunately both sins of greed and pride (power) can lead to war. This brings us to what we celebrate today as a national holiday, Memorial Day. For many Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Summer weather has arrived but today is not about summer weather. Memorial Day is a day in which we honor those who have given their lives in service to our country.

We must pray and work for the day when there are no wars.

Sometimes wars breakout in a locality because someone does not have enough food or water. We treat them with their proper dignity and overt war when we do what we can to make sure they have what they need.

Wars more often involve someone’s quest for power and wealth. Maybe they want to make a name for themselves. Maybe they feel they are a “superior race.” We are all equal before God. We are all children of God. We must work, with the help of God’s Grace, to sin no more.

War is Hell. People die. Today we honor those who died having answered the call to serve. War is never desirable. We must first seek peaceful resolution to conflicts. We should never start a war. It isn’t worth it. However, when another person/country starts a war, we need to ask ourselves how we are called to respond. Our Catholic faith acknowledges this is in just war theory (see my article, “Just War Theory”).

War is not good. We don’t understand it, or at least I don’t understand it. For example, Russia has been attacking the Ukraine for over a year now and I don’t understand why. Pride? Power? Greed? I do not know but I do know that it is not good. Innocent people are being killed and injured.

I wrote above of how sin can lead to war. Will sin ever be defeated? We continue to battle against sin but the ultimate victory over sin has already been won. Here, I point to our gospel reading for today. Jesus dies on the Cross. His death is victory over sin. Thank you Jesus.

So today we pray for those who those who have given their lives in service to our country and we ask Mary as Mother of the Church to watch over those presently serving and we pray to St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of the military.

St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls.



Fr. Jeff

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