In this Year of Mercy, I continue to cover at least one or more of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy each month. Given that today is Memorial Day, a day where we remember those who have given their lives in service to the United States of America, I thought it fitting that we should cover the corporal work of mercy to bury the dead.
When you think of burying the dead, you think of attending someone’s funeral, correct? In one sense that is exactly what this corporal work of mercy requires us to do: to bury the dead by giving them a place of rest in a grave or urn. Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity; ever more so in death, by preparing that place of rest until the Second Coming of Christ, when Jesus will raise us all to new life. Until that day though, we all need that place of rest for our physical bodies.
Honoring the dead is part of the work of mercy to bury the dead.
We honor those whom we love, who have passed on to the next life, with grave markers, flowers, and an occasional visit. Today, many graves of our brave soldiers will be draped with blankets of flowers, crosses, and our presence.
On this day, I remember my dad, a World War II veteran who passed away at age 82. I think of my mom, who rests by his side, who died at age 78. I think of my father-in-law, also a World War II veteran and his wife, who rests by his side. Although they are buried in New Jersey, and I reside in North Carolina, I can still honor them by doing the following:
- Remember the sacrifices that they endured so that my husband and I could have the lives that we enjoy today.
- Pray for their souls; that they may be in Heaven with our Lord
- Live a life worthy of their respect and love
Take a moment today to honor those who have gone before you, especially those who died in service to your country.