Having missed out on the Fourth of July festivities last year, this year’s celebration will have added meaning.  Restored will be the traditions of flags and bunting, parades and speeches, family gatherings, and food burned to a crisp on a barbeque grill!  But there’s more.

The history of our Christian faith unfolds like a parade before us.  Jesus, marching across the earthly plain toward a heavenly kingdom, comes to inaugurate a new era of freedom.  He offers to take away our burdens if we come to him.  Do we stand on the sidewalks of life?  Or do we join in the parade and march alongside those seeking liberty – those who struggle under the weight of injustice?

We who live in the United States are blessed with an incredible gift of freedom.  For Christians living in a free land, the best way to celebrate our liberty is to lift every voice and sing, join in the parade, and walk with Jesus as our true compatriot.


God, source of all freedom,
this day is bright with the memory
of those who declared that life and liberty
are your gift to every human being.
Help us to continue a good work begun long ago.
Make our vision clear and our will strong:
that only in human solidarity will we extend liberty and justice
in the honor that belongs to every life on earth.
Turn our hearts toward the family of nations:
to understand the ways of others,
to offer friendship,
and to find safety
only in the common good of all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen.

Prayer taken from the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition, copyright © 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved.