This weekend we are looking at two celebrations – First and foremost, we are celebrating Jesus’ victorious entrance into his Heavenly Fathers’ Kingdom as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, here in the United States, we celebrate Memorial Day, a day where we honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. Usually on this day, many Americans visit cemeteries or memorials, hold family gatherings and participate in parades, but this year it will look much different due to the pandemic.
Did you know that each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 PM? Many historians omit the true reason for this. Our Country was founded on Christian values and 3 PM is the hour when Christ freely gave up his life on the Cross, winning for us the greatest victory ever known to humanity-–victory over sin and death. That is why it is fitting to be celebrating the triumphant Ascension of our Lord into Heaven, and at the same time remembering the men and women who followed Jesus’ example by laying down their lives for the freedom we enjoy in our country today.
The celebration of the Ascension of Jesus Christ is not the conclusion of Christ’s earthly ministry, but rather just the beginning as Jesus told his followers just before he ascended, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” He urged them to baptize, to teach, to carry on the work that he began.
It seems to me that Christ’s first word at that moment was a simple command to us all: “Go.”
Go – and transform the world.
Go – and pick up those who have fallen.
Go – and heal those who are hurting.
Go – and love those who have been forgotten.
As you ‘Go’ be sure to offer a prayer for those who gave up their lives who served in the military. Be assured of our continued prayers and blessings for you and the family.
Fr. John Poncini
Memorial Day Prayer
Gracious God, On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. May the examples of their sacrifice inspire in us the selfless love of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with Your strength and peace. In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end to violence and conflict around the globe. We ask this through Christ our Lord.