Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.” ~William Shakespeare (Sonnet 116)
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”(John 15:13 | NRSV)
Sacrifice demands we remember. We pause in silence because greatest love leaves us speechless. Such remembering stops us in our tracks, and so it should because every human offering made in place of another is a sacred act that harkens back to the ultimate self-oblation by Jesus Christ on a Roman cross. This flies in the face of society that values self-preservation more highly than all else. The most unsettling element of sacrifice is that it transfers greater responsibility; martyrs pass on a sacred baton. Ours is to ensure that selfless acts are not offered in vain. “Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else” (Mitch Albom). The ones we pause to remember bequeathed a glorious burden to validate liberty; God grant us courage and opportunity to add punctuation to their selfless acts.