2011-05-30, 6th Monday Easter, Memorial Day

Homily 05-30-11
Monday of 6th Week of Easter, Memorial Day
Acts 16:11-15; Ps 149:1-6,9; Jn 15:26-16:4a

This is a great Gospel reading for today, being Memorial Day.
It’s about remembering and telling.

You see, we can’t TELL what we don’t know.  And we can’t KNOW what we haven’t experienced ourselves or learned from others.  And we can’t LEARN if we don’t listen.  And we won’t LISTEN unless it’s interesting.  And we won’t REMEMBER unless it had some dramatic impact on our own lives.

Do we remember WWII?  Probably not many of us.  Do we remember John F. Kennedy or Vatican II, or Vietnam, or Woodstock?  Do we remember 911 or 35 cent gas?  You see, in some way it had to personally affect us in order for us to remember.

Now, if you were in a foxhole in France or a military Hum-V in Iraq, and your best friend, sitting right next to you, was hit and killed by a sniper, you would definitely remember.  And you might just ask yourself, “WHY?”  And you might even ask, “Was it really worth it?”  Now, we might ask ourselves the same questions.  That’s what Memorial Day is all about!

In our minds, even though we weren’t there, wasn’t it really worth it?!!!  You see, that wasn’t just somebody’s best friend, she was somebody’s baby, he was somebody’s brother, they were somebody’s husband, or father, or mother!  And they gave their lives for US.

Now imagine having spent three years in training with a very wise leader.  You lived with him, and ate with him, and traveled hundreds of miles with him, on foot.  And after all that time, you might say that you knew him pretty well.  You truly were, the best of buddies.

And then one day after a great dinner together, and maybe some perplexing discussions, you’re sitting together in the park when an angry mob engulfs you, grabs your teacher, and kills him. . .  Will you remember?  Was it Really worth it?

Fifteen years later and 1400 miles away, a man by the name of Paul was sitting in another park.  Now Paul wasn’t with Jesus for those three years.  As a matter of fact, Paul hated Jesus and everything he stood for.  But now, turn the page of time, and add a little personal experience, and Paul can’t stop talking about this man.  And in the process, beautiful new believers like Lydia and her family were born.  Lydia was so excited, she insisted that Paul and Silas stay with them a little longer, so she could hear and learn more.

You see, it was the same Holy Spirit, whom Jesus spoke of to his disciples, who inspired Paul.  It’s the same Holy Spirit who inspires me and you – to sit down with a friend or a stranger in the park and chat about how Jesus saved me and my wife yesterday from a near fatal accident, or your remarkable stories too, instead of talking about the weather or a baseball game.

It’s the same Holy Spirit who inspires us to talk about how Jesus, our best friend, saved our husband, or aunt, or uncle from cancer – through the miracle of modern medicine.  How Jesus is working through us to bring healing and comfort to those beautiful survivors in Joplin, and Sudan, and Japan.  How Jesus has taken the souls of the lost, and carried them to his bosom in LOVE, as they await our reunion in the days or weeks or years to come!

Today and forever, we Remember and we TELL.

jmp 05-30-11

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