Every year, when Veterans’ Day rolls around, it makes me think about war. America has been at war in one form or another throughout many years of my life. If the war was not a “hot” war, it was a “cold” war; nevertheless it was war. And wars are never
fought apart from soldiers on the ground, in the air, at sea, and under the sea.
Men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to defend a way of life, threatened by outside forces have always been the warriors who we call veterans when they come home. And all too often, some returned damaged, disabled, bruised, and broken. Others returned to be buried by grieving loved ones.
On this national holiday dedicated to veterans, it is fitting for us to pause, recall the sacrifices of those who went to war and served in the military, and acknowledge their courage and sacrifice with grateful hearts.
President Dwight Eisenhower, one of the most decorated US Army Generals in World War II and later two term president, once said, “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.” This was a veteran, who loved and served his country with honor and distinction and saw first-hand the ravages of war.
On this Veterans’ Day I share my country’s pride and gratitude for those who are serving and those who have served and especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to our country. While on this day we honor veterans, for me it is also a day to pray for a speedy end to all wars, hot or cold, and safe return for all those serving in these war zones.
Most loving and compassionate God, we pause to honor and pray for our veterans, worthy men and women who gave their best when they were called upon to serve and protect their country. We pray that you will bless them, Lord, for their unselfish service; bless them abundantly for the hardships they faced, for the sacrifices they made. We respect them, we thank them, we honor them, we are proud of them, and we pray that you will watch over these special people. Heal their minds and hearts and bless them with peace and happiness.
We pray for a conversion of hearts throughout the world so that all will rise and work to bridge divisions and fashion this world as you envision it to be. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Office closed Veterans Day, Thursday, November 1; Morning Mass is at 9:00 am
November 7 ~ Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Two readings from today’s scriptures focus on stories of widows.
Both were poor women in relation to worldly standards and yet when called upon to be generous
they gave everything they had.
In the gospel, Jesus points out the action of the widow with the words
“she contributed all she had. . . .”
Being a grateful disciple of Christ requires a spirit of stewardship of the multiple gifts God has bestowed on us.
It means being willing, like the two widows, to make sacrifices, to offer prayer and service to the parish
as well as to those most in need.
Are you willing to share these gifts? This week, pay attention for opportunities that God will provide for you to share your time, your talent, and your treasure – and then – respond as a grateful disciple!