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Memorial Day

Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: 1 Peter 1:3-9; Psalm 111:1-2, 5-6, 9+10c; Mark 10:17-27

My dear encountered couples:

Today is a special day set aside by our country to remember those who have died. First - those who have died in war. The men and women in the military who have given their lives to assure our freedom and independence, those not in the military but who have also actively given their lives in war, and, of course, all the many innocent victims of war.

Second - we are to remember our loved ones, our relatives and friends who have finished their lives on earth and gone on to meet their God and ours in eternity. Let us not just have parades, lay a few wreaths, go to ball games, swimming pools, and picnic; let us be sure not to let the day go by without saying some special prayers for their eternal happiness.

For a time, they suffered trials, their faith was tested. But all that happened to them was for their growth. All that happened in their lives was to teach them to depend on God, to find their strength in him, and be formed with the help of the Holy Spirit into the people they needed to be to enter heaven. Our prayers, in ways mysterious to us, go towards helping them during their past lives on earth, and now their present lives in eternity, if they are still in need of help. When we ask God with love to take care of them, we become partners with them in their achieving perfection and entering into everlasting happiness.

There is something special those who have gone before us have done for us. They have made us aware of what is important in life. It is not the quest for wealth or pleasure or comfort that is as important as we might think it is during our short time here. What is important is where we go after we die. Our eternity is decided by how we live our lives on earth. A life lived for others gets us to heaven, a selfish life keeps us outside. The rich young man in our gospel asked Jesus what he must do to enter eternal life. Besides the advice to keep the commandments, Jesus gave him a key that was guaranteed to unlock the gates of heaven.


What counts in life is what we do for others. Not how much money we have, but how much we have given away. Not what we own, not who we know, not how smart or talented we are, but how much of ourselves and our things we share with others. Many of those we remember today gave their lives for others. What more can anyone give! Let us take example from them so we can join them someday to be happy with them.

“There is cause for rejoicing here,” writes St. Peter. “You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears. Although you have never seen him, you love him, and without seeing him, you now believe in him and rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory because you are achieving faith’s goal, your salvation.”



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