July 2-3, 2016


For many people July 4th weekend is the highlight of their summer. Many choose this week for vacation. With the 4th falling in a Monday, I believe it adds even more festivity to the “long” weekend, which for many will begin Thursday, June 30th and accelerate from there until Monday evening, July 4th. If we have the weather we experienced on Father's Day Weekend and last weekend, it even adds to the excitement, enjoyment and exhilaration. Does it get any better than this? I suppose traffic can be somewhat aggravating leading into the weekend and as many return home. Personally I don't appreciate anything that negatively affects my personality and one of those few things is traffic. 

Years ago it was all about parades and going to legal fireworks displays. It was about patriotic songs and displaying the American Flag. It was about barbecues and gathering with family we hadn't seen in a long time. To put it simply: it was about God and country. 

So much has happened in the world since I was a child. Our understanding of God and our country has evolved. I think years ago we saw politics and religion as one in this country and we identified both with Christianity. Because our country has become even more of a melting pot over the past 75 or so years, we now have so many other faith traditions and cultures claiming to be American and wanting to celebrate Independence Day with us. So now in addition to seeing homes with Irish and American flags side by side, or Italian and American flags flying together, we also see American flags blowing in the wind next to flags from Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Vietnam and the Philippines. All of our families celebrating the best of America. 

In my lifetime I believe we have gone from tolerating those who are different from us, to respecting those who are different from us, to embracing those who are different from us. I believe that is progress and that is what makes America great. 

Happy 4th of July from the wonderful staff of the Blue Hills Collaborative. Enjoy the life that is ours today because of those who preceded us. May we be as generous to the generations that follow. 

Fr. Coyne


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