The last full measure of devotion

When the apostles heard that James and John had requested places of honor beside Jesus in his glory they became indignant but Jesus said to them “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” [Mk 10:42-45].

U. S. Armed Forces

U. S. Armed Forces

Service. The giving of one’s self for others is what Jesus taught and what he became man to do; it exemplifies what all followers of Christ are called to do, to serve others. Perhaps nowhere is this call to service expressed more honorably than in the humble duty performed by our nation’s veterans. Our cherished freedoms are and have been sustained and protected by the unselfish and often mortal service which has been given by those who have served and those who continue to serve. We must honor those who, as President Lincoln expressed so nobly at Gettysburg, “gave the last full measure of devotion” while recognizing and acknowledging the service of those who have served and remain among us as living testaments to the ideals of service to their fellow man.

Over fifty years ago, on May 12, 1962, General Douglas MacArthur spoke at West Point, speaking of Duty, Honor, and Country. His speech that day stands as perhaps the finest, most eloquent hymn to the ideal of service ever spoken. Midway through his speech he said “…reverently following your password of Duty, Honor, Country. The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong. The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training—sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.”

We must honor and thank those men and women who have served and are serving in this nation’s military; we owe them a debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice, a debt beyond measure. The price for our freedoms has been paid by those willing to serve and to give their last full measure of devotion.

One of the finest examples of service that I have ever had the honor to know is Col. John LaVoy, USMC (Ret.) who served his nation and her people through three wars. Happy 94th birthday John.  We are proud to know you sir. Thank you for your service. Semper Fi, Sir, hoorah!

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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