Veterans’ Day

Reflections on forthcoming Mass readings by Tom and April Hoopes.

Nov. 11, 2007, is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Veteran’s Day. Today, the Pope will beatify Ceferino “Morales” Namuncurá, a native Argentinian student who died at age 18 while studying in Rome.

Parish offers some great tips appropriate for Veterans’ Day. With the pastor’s approval, parishes can arrange to help our armed forces. At the site you can register to help provide Catholic spiritual care packages, including prayer books, a Bible, a rosary and meditations. A more ambitious, long-term plan: Schedule a holy hour to pray for our armed forces or schedule an event in your parish using a speaker.


Thank any veterans in your family — or visit a military event or museum in your area and thank a veteran there.

At dinner, talk about any military service your family (or friends) have given.

Read what Pope John Paul II — whose father was an army officer — said to military families. There is much to discuss:

“It is not easy to be a soldier’s family, because even the hardships of his mission must be shared. Yet the family is the principal support of each one of you, committed to defending peace and life. One defends what one loves and where does one learn to love peace and life if not in the family? Therefore, dear families, feel fully involved in this mission and collaborate in safeguarding justice and peace.”


Movies: The Longest Day (1962) is a star-studded tribute to D-Day that is gripping. Read aloud about St. Martin of Tours, whose feast day is Nov. 11.


Second Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; Psalms 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15; Second Thessalonians 2:16-3:5

Gospel: Luke 20:27-38 or 20:27, 34-38 provides Sunday activities for the family based on the readings. Click on “Next Sunday Ideas” and then on the date. provides excellent homily aids.

Our Take

The readings make an important point about what’s most important in life. We all know that the mother-child relationship is extremely important, — it’s the Fourth Commandment, after all. And the husband-wife relationship is important as well; it gets two commandments, the sixth and the ninth.

But in the first reading, a mother and brothers are captured by enemies of the Jews who attempt to force them to break the Law. In the longer version of the reading, their mother exhorts her sons not to give in. In the version we read today, it is the son who announces that he will would rather die than break the Law.

His reason: He looks forward to the resurrection.

In the Gospel, Jesus makes the same point, but about marriage. We all know how important marriage is — it is the basic building block of our society, and the key contributor to the happiness of our children.

But one day we will rise from the dead, and our love for our spouses will be different. It will be caught up in a greater love — the love for which we were made, the love that provides perfect happiness.

It’s that love that the Psalm calls us to when it says: “Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.”

Tom and April Hoopes are editorial directors of Faith & Family (