Today is the celebration of Independence Day in the United States. For many it will be a day of BBQs and fireworks, and will include gatherings of family and friends. For too many others, it will be merely another day of illness or addiction, another day of hunger, another day of homelessness, another day alone, with no family or friends.
For many of us, the day will include Mass. Our Mass at St. Hubert’s in a couple of house will use the readings from the Mass for Peace and Justice. And although I sometimes am a little jarred when Masses on days like 4th of July and Memorial Day end with us singing America the Beautiful (I fear it gives some the suggestion that Americans are somehow more favored in God’s eyes than are the peoples of other nations), I do think that taking time on this day of celebration to rededicate ourselves to spreading God’s peace and justice throughout the world is valuable. And so, as we pray in the Opening Prayer of today’s Mass:
today we rededicate ourselves to your service,
and to the works of justice and freedom for all.
As you have called us from many peoples
to one nation,
help us to give witness in our lives
and in our life as a nation
to the rich diversity of yoru gifts.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus christ, your Son,
who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.