The Church offers Her prayers for all the dead in a special way during the month of November. The readings during this month also draw our attention to our death and to judgment at the end of time. While we avoid any unhealthy (and theologically skewed) pre-occupation with the “end times”, the Church has always reminded us (especially during November) of the necessity to be ready to meet the Lord. Today’s readings teach us about the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. This teaching really has two facets. First, that death is not the end of us, but that our soul continues to live on. Second, that we will be re -united to our bodies in a glorified way when the Lord comes again. In other words, since in this life we consist of body/soul, so too will we live in the life to come as a (glorified) body/soul. Though sometimes people will use some poetic language in describing the dead, especially infants who die, as “angels”, those who die are, and remain, human persons. When we die we are “like angels” because our souls are separated from our bodies. But when the Lord comes again at the end of time, and there occurs the resurrection of the dead, we will be “complete” humans again when our soul is re-united to our glorified body.
Our nation properly honors on Memorial Day those who have died in defense of our country. On Monday, November 11, Veterans Day, we honor those living who served honorably in our Armed Forces. In doing so we acknowledge that it is a virtuous thing to defend the innocent and fight unjust aggressors. Having served as an enlisted Marine (1975-1979) and as a Navy Chaplain (1992-1995), I can say that I met some of the best, bravest, and good men while serving in the mili- tary. That which applies to our Armed Forces applies to the nation as a whole: America is best when America is good. God bless our Veterans, and God bless America! (And Happy Birthday USMC, founded November 10, 1775! Semper Fi!!)
May God bless you!
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