To Show Love and Mercy
All that lives on this earth has a “season” and whether plant, animal or human, all have an appointed time as stated so beautifully in Ecclesiastes 3.1-2:
“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to give birth and a time to die . . .”
We are created in the wondrous image of God that we might come to know him, love him and serve him on this earth and be happy with him eternally in heaven. In God’s plan for our salvation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are gifted with eternal life. Our faith in Jesus, the call of our baptism and our commitment to living as a disciple of Christ assures our happiness in heaven.
In my work here at St. Francis Xavier I have the privilege to be with parishioners who are preparing to be with God for eternity. The circumstances by which we approach eternal life are as diverse as humanity itself. Yet, what I witness for those who are gifted with time to prepare to leave this life is not only grief and pain, more often I witness love and patience and grace. I sense a gentleness and tenderness among people and moments of true peace and solitude. Being with another who is in their last days or moments is indeed a privilege and because of the presence of God’s grace, love is vividly on display. Those times are appointed times; all part of God’s plan for each of member of the Body of Christ.
I have also witnessed God’s grace in action as we assist families in planning the celebration of their loved ones life and I am amazed at the gifts of this community as they come together to serve one another at every funeral. This parish ought to be proud of how grieving families are embraced, supported, cared and prayed for by so many. This is truly an act of mercy and love. From praying at the bedside of the dying, to assisting in the planning of funerals, to the planning of the beautiful, meaningful liturgies, to preparing, hosting and serving the luncheon, our parish excels. Let us together thank God for the opportunity to serve his people at a most vulnerable time in their lives. And let us continue always to remember and honor those of shared faith who have gone before us as we pray:
May God bless you all for your kindness!