This weekend we celebrate our citizenship, our independence. Pundits, politicians, commentators and Monday morning quarterbacks all seek to grab our attention and tell us what this day is all about.
It is pretty simple. Today we commemorate that moment in July of 1776 when a rag-tag group of people took a stand and declared they and their neighbors to be free and self-determining.
July 4th marks the birth of the nation.
That Declaration confirmed us as a people, a United States. Individual freedoms were affirmed, the rights and value of the individual were asserted. These rights and values are effectively guaranteed because we act as one, we are a people.
The freedom of the individual lived within a Union. The guarantor of my freedom is in being a part of something far bigger than myself – the Union; and my individual freedoms are subject to the good of the Union. The preservation of the Union, the preservation of the Common Good will determine whether I remain free or not.
In many ways we have become quite an individualistic nation. My rights are the focus and the common good gets a bit lost. We have come to believe that the individual is greater than the collective, the Union.
This holiday let us remember and celebrate our Union. Let us remember that my freedom is only as strong as the freedom of my neighbor and that my freedom must always be at the service of the common good.
We have a lot to celebrate and remember that what makes this Union work is the combined effort and support of all citizens.
Father Steve Adrian