First Responders: trained and ready for bravery

Certainly there are those among us who, in the face of danger, will find the courage to dive in and do what must be done, regardless of threat to personal safety.

But then there are those who train and practice for just such moments and who step forward not only with courage but also with knowledge and skill.

These first responders wear the uniforms and gear of the police and fire departments, the whites and blues of medical personnel and the camouflage of the military.  All of these were present on Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and they moved into action without hesitation.  You've probably seen video of these responders and many volunteers immediately removing the temporary security fencing to get to the wounded as soon as possible.

In my parish, in the prayers of the faithful every Sunday, we pray "for those who serve and protect us and for those in harm's way..."  The tragic scene on Monday afternoon was but one more instance of how bravely first responders put our lives ahead of their own, to serve and protect us...

A Prayer for First Responders

Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy,
who through your Son
gave us a marvelous example of charity
and the great commandment of love for one another.
Send down your blessings on these your servants,
who so generously devote themselves to helping others.
Grant them courage when they are afraid,
wisdom when they must make quick decisions,
strength when they are weary,
and compassion in all their work.
When the alarm sounds
and they are called to aid both friend and stranger,
let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

- adapted from the Book of Blessings (#587) by Diana Macalintal

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