WEDNESDAY, November 11 (Martin of Tours) Veterans’ Day (U.S.) Remembrance Day (Canada)


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Psalm 82. You are gods, and all of you children of the Most High; nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.

Leila was in her eighties when I, in my mid-twenties, was her priest. Half of the altar guild, Leila always had fresh flowers on the altar–all of them home-grown. Every Sunday after the liturgy those flowers found their way to those who were ill or home-bound.

One year when Veterans’ Day fell on a Sunday, Leila asked me to accompany her to the churchyard cemetery. There she lovingly placed a vase of flowers, complete with poppies, on the grave of her baby brother. The government-issued stone bore a simple cross, her brother’s name, rank, the dates 1900-1918, and the inscription “The Great War.” After a prayer, she remarked how she “sorely missed him to this day.”

He never made it to the front, dying of influenza on board ship en route to France. There was no trace of bitterness or irony in her voice. She told story after story of their younger days and they were all joyful.

Today we honor those who gave the full measure as well as living veterans who have given so much to ensure our freedom. May we be worthy of their sacrifices.

PRAY for the Diocese of Venezuela (Province IX, USA)

Ps 119:97-120 * 81; Nehemiah 7:73b-8:3, 5-18; Revelation 18:21-24; Matthew 15:29-39

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