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Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Visit To Omaha Beach

The American military cemetery in Normandy, picture taken in the summer of 2003 by Bjarki Sigursveinsson, via Wikipedia

Twenty years ago, in September, our pilgrim group of three drove 175 miles out of the city of Paris into Normandy country, to visit Omaha Beach, the D-Day invasion site of June 6, 1944. On coming into view of the American Cemetery, my friends stopped and could not speak for a long time.

Words cannot describe the row upon row of white stone crosses, stretching endlessly into the horizon, some 10,000 of them. On D-Day, these men faced withering fire from enemy machine guns placed on the bluff overlooking the shore. All young men, in the prime of their life, but called to duty, with all its dangers, superseded all other matters. The crosses represent only a small number of the members of the Armed Forces killed in the opening days of the greatest military invasion of all time.

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, a day to remember all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and to draw inspiration for life from our military dead. By their example, these fallen heroes remind us of the quality of courage and honor resting in the hearts of each one of us. The dead buried at Omaha Beach, were the young people living down the block from us, just ordinary boys. I was ordained a priest on May 6, 1944, exactly one month before this carnage took place. If I had not been in the Seminary, I could well be lying beneath one of the white crosses.

Instead, God has given me a long life with joys and sorrows found in every human existence. I give thanks for the opportunity to taste life from youth to old age, for the chance to know God better in all the happenings of life. For these men, lying there in the silence and quiet at Omaha Beach, life was just opening up for them like a fresh flower in the spring time. A cruel death cut short their dreams and hopes for the future.

In our mind’s eye, as we contemplate the all the lives of those men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, we would do well to ask ourselves, “What will I do with my life?” God has given us many days to live. We can pass these days in a selfish, complaining manner, preoccupied with the material things in life. On the other hand, we can seize each day as a precious gift and work for God’s Honor and Glory!

Inspired by our fallen heroes, we can purify our minds and hearts of selfish attitudes, know that the greatest victory is the victory over the evil within us. In our innermost hearts, we possess courage not only to rush enemy machine guns, but more importantly to drive out addictions to evil in its many forms.

Seeing the American cemeteries in France in 1997 affected my life deeply. Call it a rich bonus I didn’t foresee from my visit to France. To this day I cannot tolerate a haphazard attitude towards life, allowing carelessness about God’s Honor to take over my days.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 4 Comments

The Vision Of Jesus

Winding Road, South Jerusalem near the Malha Train Station Photo by Zeevveez from Jerusalem, Israel Via Wikipedia

Winding Road, South Jerusalem near the Malha Train Station
Photo by Zeevveez from Jerusalem, Israel Via Wikipedia

“If only I could see the Lord glowing with light and glory, how much easier the whole work of serving and following Christ would be!”  As it stands, we never see the Lord in any visible way.

Jesus showed Himself in glory to the three Apostles on top of Mt. Tabor, a mountain about a thousand feet high, in Galilee, a short distance from Nazareth.

I have been to the top of Mt. Tabor a number of times over the years.  A dangerous one way road twists and turns to the summit.  Only licensed, professional drivers may drive pilgrims up this steep mountain slop to the top on which stands a modern Church and Franciscan monastery.

Look at the twisting, corkscrew road in the picture on this page.  We see a good example of how life works out for us.  Betrayal by friends, disappointments, personal human weaknesses, lack of love from those who should love us, physical sickness, the death of love ones; all these make up the twists and turns of life.

How easy to think that we are just zig-zagging in life, making no headway in our search for Christ.

We must not, we dare not, give up as we move through these twists and turns in life.  The words on our lips, as we push forwards, oftentimes with sad and heavy hearts, are: “Jesus of Nazareth!”

The vision of Christ will be ours if we persevere in the climb upwards!

A Happy Thanksgiving this week to all my faithful follwers
Fr. George Mc Kenna

November 20, 2016 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 8 Comments