Each November, we as a Catholic Churchtake time to remember all those who have gone before us into eternal life. No one among us has escaped the reality of the death of friends and loved ones, for death is a natural part our life experience. And though it is difficult to be with loved ones as they approach death or with those who have just lost a loved one, there is no doubt God is present; the experience of grace is evident.
A large part of my ministry here at St. Francis Xavier is walking with and supporting those who are actively dying or have experienced the death of a loved one. As Pastoral Associate I am gifted the privilege of walking with our parishioners and representing this parish community as we offer love and prayers, support and care for our grieving brothers and sisters. It is clearly evident that each of their life journeys are sacred and blessed. The celebration of the life of a baptized Catholic that culminates in the Mass of Christian Burial is grace-filled and abundantly rich with the message of salvation and the hope for eternal life; a promise fulfilled in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Fr. Tim’s homily for each of these Masses brings hope of reuniting with loved ones and challenges all to continue to love God and his people. The music is beautifully done and wholly inspiring. So many parishioners assist the grieving family and their friends at the visitation and in the preparation and serving of a meal when all are fed, not just in body but fed also by the love and support shown to them.
I believe these moments in life provide all who participate an opportunity to grow as disciples of Christ. For in those moments when embraces are heartfelt and the pain and suffering of another is met with authentic love, kindness and gentleness, we become our best selves. We become the person God intended we be as we become Christ to one another.
I invite all members of our parish to write the names of their loved ones who have passed into the Book of Remembrance which you will find in the entry of the Church. Take your children with you and teach them the beautiful practice of praying for and remembering the dead.
The Book of Remembrance will remain in the entry throughout the month of November. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
With deepest respect,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC