Unknown “Soldiers”

From the Parish PriestFr. Romey Rosco

In Arlington National Cemetery, there is a magnificent monument built to the memory of the Unknown Soldier.  Since its construction after World War I, soldiers were added to the tomb.  In fact, the remains of three servicemen are currently buried there: from World Wars I and II, as well as the Korean War.  Their names are known only to God, as their bodies were never identified.

The Church too has its own soldiers: soldiers of Christ, Christian soldiers, the saints whose names may be familiar to us or known only to God.  We may not construct monuments to their memory, but we do pay tribute to them all on the first Sunday after Pentecost.  Together with all the known saints of the Christian Church and Faith, they are a part of the One True Church of Christ.

And just as we pray with gratitude for the sacrifice of the known and unknown defenders of this wonderful land of freedom and opportunity, so do we thank God for His saints whose examples of virtue, sacrifice and devotion serve to strengthen us and help us to realize that we too can defend the source of true freedom: freedom that finds itself in the Lord Who frees us from evil.  For as the Lord said: “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36)

Our “rights” as Americans are the same rights that can be claimed by all people of the world because they were given to us by God.  The Declaration of Independence states as much: “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: among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Son has made us free by His Own death and resurrection.  He taught us how to enjoy our freedom without denying Him and one another.  Our life, liberty and happiness can only be found in Him…with love and gratitude for Him…and all those inspired by Him.  Thank God for all His saints!

From The Weekly Bulletin, Vol. XXXIII No. 25, 18 June 2006
Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights MI

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