· Vatican City ·

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9 June

Kinship, Unity, & Commemoration

 Kinship, Unity, & Commemoration  ING-023
07 June 2024

This month marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day. June 6, 1944 was a pivotal moment in history that marked the beginning of the end of World War ii . On this day soldiers from various backgrounds, nations, and beliefs stormed the beaches of Normandy with a common purpose to defeat tyranny and restore peace. Jesus’ powerful message about the need for unity and His redefinition of family “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (Mk 3:35), speak directly to the heart of the D-Day commemorations.

The events of D-Day are a living embodiment of the Gospel’s call to a higher form of kinship, a kinship based not on blood but on a shared commitment to justice, peace, and the common good. In the Gospel Jesus invited His followers to form a spiritual family based on doing God’s will and the soldiers of D-Day formed a brotherhood united by their commitment to a cause greater than themselves.

The unity displayed by the Allied forces reflects the unity we are called to as the Body of Christ. The Church, with its diverse members, is called to work together in harmony to build the Kingdom of God here on earth. The soldiers’ unified efforts were crucial to the success of D-Day and our collective efforts as followers of Christ are essential in confronting and overcoming the evils and challenges of our own time.

World War ii taught us the devastating consequences of division and hatred. The horrors of the Holocaust, the immense suffering caused by war, and the widespread destruction remind us of the destructive power of sin and division. Jesus tells us that “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him” (Mk 3: 24-26). Jesus’ words challenge each of us to reflect on our own lives and the ways in which division and discord can undermine our communities, our relationships, and our efforts to build a just and peaceful world. We are called to be peacemakers, to seek forgiveness, and to foster unity in our families and communities.

Mark’s Gospel challenges the Church, as God’s family to live out a radical kinship which fosters a community united by faith and obedience to God’s commandments. This unity is demonstrated through our reception of the sacraments, communal worship, and acts of charity and justice. Most importantly by our participation in the Eucharist we are reminded of our intimate kinship with Christ and with one another which strengthens our commitment to live as His true disciples.

As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day and reflect on this week’s Gospel message of unity and spiritual kinship, may we always remember the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought and seek to live out our faith with renewed fervor, to be instruments of God’s peace and justice in the world, and to find our true family among those who seek to do God’s will.

*  Executive Director
Maryland Catholic Conference

By Jenny Kraska *