When he used his body to receive the searing pain, wounded, suffering and then dying so that others might live, he was only thinking of their welfare. He gave up his own love of life and a desire to see his family and friends again. His only concern, out of love for them, was protecting his comrades from harm and death themselves.
He would posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic action. He jumped on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades in arms. He died on the Feast of the Archangels, the 29th of September. His name was Michael. He was a warrior just like that illustrious archangel. The selflessness of that heroic decision, that heroic act, is one that more people in our country should know about.
More people everywhere should contemplate heroism, bravery, sacrifice, selflessness, willing the good of the other while asking nothing in return. These are virtues we should all aspire to possess.
If only more of us knew, loved, and followed the quintessential Leader, Jesus Christ, who, like Michael the Navy SEAL, used His Body to save the lives of His comrades, and even His enemies. But this Jesus sacrificed Himself for those worthy and those who were not.
Jesus is true God and true man and so His sacrifice is cosmic and eternal.
The death of Jesus was “once and for all.” But the sacrifice of Michael the Navy SEAL is analogous so that we mere humans can better understand what Jesus did for humanity – past, present, and future.
This correlation between the Military member who will lay down his life for His friends and that of Jesus is not new, but just as many people today don’t know who Jesus is, there are too many who don’t know (or understand) the reasons for, and the glory of, His death for all our sakes.
Jesus begged His Father on the night before He died, for this “cup” to pass. He asked that He might be spared and for God to go with a Plan B for the salvation of souls. But there was no Plan B. Only Jesus Incarnate could save us from our sins, save us from ourselves. He immediately followed up His prayerful entreaty to escape a gruesome, painful, degrading death with a desire to do the will of His Father. And that is another perfect example for us.
Trusting in God’s plan for the good of others in the bigger, unseen and unknown future requires an unfailing faith in God. And all of Jesus’ life was lived to do the will of His Father, right up to that horrible moment of execution. Was He scared? Heck, yes, He was scared. But from the day He signed on to do what HIs Father commanded, Jesus lived every day understanding that, while He had important even crucial things, to do each day, His suffering and dying for us all was a very real possibility. But He did it anyway. And that’s how it is for Military members who are in combat. Signing up to serve in the Military means that every day they can do important things, but once sent into combat against a terrible enemy, dying, sacrificing their lives so that others might live, is a very real possibility. But they do it anyway.
For Jesus, as He gives Himself resolutely and calmly into the hands of Roman cruelty to be scourged, and when He places Himself between us and sin on the cross, between humanity and the father of lies, to save us and give us everlasting life with Him in Heaven, it’s the Perfect Sacrifice that no one else could do for us.
As we reverence people like Michael the Navy SEAL, how much more should we reverence and honor the Sacrifice of the Son of God, the Second Person of the Triune God, who gave Himself up so that we might live eternally with Him. It was love that held Jesus’ Body on that cross. It is Love that shows itself in Mercy for sinners by dying for our sakes.
Let us live lives worthy of the sacrifice of our departed Military members who gave up so much for us, but let us give our lives completely to the God who sacrificed Himself for us and live truly holy lives to be worthy of that Eternal Sacrifice.