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​Archbishop prays to Blessed Mother to teach us to serve others in the name of Jesus

July 12, 2021 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Archbishop, In the Press, Breaking News

Archbishop prays to Blessed Mother to teach us to serve others in the name of Jesus

Two seemingly disparate events – the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Memorial Day – were marked together on May 31 at a Mass at San Fernando Cemetery II with Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS, as presider.

At two other locations, San Fernando Cemetery III and Holy Cross Cemetery, Auxiliary Bishop Michael Boulette and Auxiliary Bishop Gary Janak also celebrated morning liturgies, which are an annual tradition in San Antonio, known as Military City USA.

At his service, the archbishop explained that faith opens up a gap through the shadow of death that allows shining hope to prevail. It echoes the message of the Cross of the Lord, he said, and allows us to believe that there is light coming up from the ground where loved ones lie.

“We find meaning as we express our love for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, its people and the cherished principles that keep us together. They eloquently remind us who we are,” emphasized Archbishop Gustavo. “Through the witness and the memory of women and men who made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their military duties while serving in the Armed Forces, the Lord reminds us of the fundamental Christian values that we hold as a people and as a country. But furthermore, through them He reminds us and He indicates to us who we should strive to be.”

Heroes unite us in love of God, as well as love for them, for one another and for country, around faith and hope in Jesus Christ, the archbishop added. “We believe in a merciful God who received them as his beloved and faithful children. We are challenged to honor their memory building on their legacy,” stressed the Missionary of the Holy Spirit. “They dare us to earn their sacrifice! But the answer to the question about who we are, and the strength to become what we are called to be, can only be found in the God to whom we implore mercy for beloved heroes.”

In late May the Church also commemorates the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth, who in her old age had conceived a son, the precursor of the Lord, St. John the Baptist. Pope Francis has expressed this mystery with these words: “We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being. Here we find the source and inspiration of all our efforts at evangelization. For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?”

The San Antonio prelate told listeners of how a humble young lady was transformed into the Mother of God.

“She was found worthy precisely because she would not keep that to herself, just like she kept nothing else. She was all gift-of-self to God, so God gave himself to us through her. She had to travel ‘to the hill country in haste’ to serve the first person she could. She was the first evangelizer whose ‘soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,” he concluded. Interestingly, the first bearer of the good news delivered it to the one whose mission was to ‘go before the Lord to prepare his ways.’ Her haste flipped the sequence of time. God’s mercy arrives even before we realize we need it. That is its hallmark and the source of our trust in our Heavenly Father, in whose hands we commend these beloved sisters and brothers who have walked before us and whom we honor.”

Prior to the conclusion of the Mass, the archbishop placed a memorial wreath at the base of the cemetery flagpole in recognition of the military men and women interred on those holy grounds.