Happy Birthday, United States of America… and many happy returns…
Reflections on the readings for Independence Day / Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time (July 4, 2018): AM 5:14-15, 21-24; PS 50:7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 16-17; MT 8:28-34
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These words from the Declaration of Independence are worth pondering on this Independence Day. While this holiday has become a time for family recreation and community celebrations, we should make a little time to consider the founding of the United States of America and the people who made it possible in 1776 and the years that followed. For all the different national backgrounds, economic classes and varying opinions on many issues, they forged a country offering opportunity and freedom that had never been seen before. In 1791, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would guarantee the free exercise of religion – something that, like the rest of our rights, we must not take for granted.
In today’s first reading, we hear the prophet Amos addressing another nation in another age. Yet the words still remind us of the need for honesty, integrity and decency in our dealings with each other – and the world. “Let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream” (Amos 5:24). Let us also think about America today and what we want it to be like for the generations to come. Let us consider how we can help ourselves and neighbors now and our grandchildren tomorrow to experience “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”