Devotional thought of the day:
26 This means that every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26 (TEV)
437 If one of my fellow men had died to save me from death … God died. And I remain indifferent.
On Friday, I “shared” a picture on FB. It was a picture of men, paratroopers in a World War II airplane. The right side was the original picture, the left was a picture of men who had served then, but today. It was an amazing morph, the men in their youth, young, excited, ready to jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane. That side of the picture was black and white. Contrasting that picture was the older men, pictured in color, their weary bodies not overloaded with combat uniforms and packs, but ties and blazers, their grey hair covered by berets.
More than other picture I have shared or posted, this picture has been liked and shared by more people than any other picture. Maybe it is because people are realizing that memorial day is about more than barbecues and beaches, that it is ore than the unofficial kick-off to summer.
We remember that some men have given their lives to free others who were mistreated, who were oppressed. Surely that wasn’t the aim of some of them. Some were more about revenge, or gaining fame. But many simply fought, bled and died, because that is what they were called to do.
And some lived, and suffer for years for what they’ve seen, or what they’ve had to do. Those who sufferi from Post Traumatic Stress, (those who’s sleep is at best is uneasy because of the memories, the pains, the guilts and shame.
We need to remember these men, for no matter their motivation, they have served, and all have been wounded in their souls…. war creates victims without any rationale. Maybe that is why the picture was shared so many times. Gratitude on our part, and a desire for those who served to find peace., to be able to face that which they’ve tried to bury, so that they can know peace.
This morning the blue verse above was in my readings. I was struck by it, because of the timing, because of the context of Memorial Day Weekend. St. Josemaria is correct We stand in awe of those who have died or embraced suffering for us. If we know some wh’ve served, we might worry about the demons they didn’t leave on the battlefield, the pains and hurts. We put flowers and flags at their grave sites. We have parades and concerts and flies flags in their honor.
Bow much more should we remember the death of God? The suffering, the sacrifice that was embraced with full knowledge and pure and holy intent A sacrifice that not only liberates those who are the victims, but liberates those who were the oppressors, A sacrifice that brings peace that that a war’s end cannot imagine.
A sacrifice that can even bring healing to those who were broken by war…Like my dad, who didn’t die, but one could say that a part of him. Who struggled to receive the Lord’s Supper, often crying as he faced the love of God, who would give His life, deliberately to assure my dad of God’s love for him, to assure dad of a place in heaven. I just know the mixture of pain and relief and joy of being loved all was there, as my dad knelt at the rail, and remember Christ’s sacrifice as he shared Christ’s Body and Blood For a second there was God’s peace, overwhelming everything else. A peace that now he knows.
We need to remember Christ’s love, first and foremost. We need to celebrate it, and the freedom and peace it brings. We need to see it as powerful, as overwhelming as awe-inspiring as those who understand the depths of pain that it relieves.
Pray for those who are serving, those who have served. That they would know the Prince of Peace, AMEN.
Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 1074-1075). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.