Recently while attending a funeral liturgy, I was struck by this contrast. The world outside the Church was going about life as usual. People were rushing to catch the metro to be on time for work; some were reading newspapers--getting caught up on the latest war casualties; colleges and universities were welcoming incoming freshman; and everyone else was simply doing what they normally do. It was just a routine, ordinary day. However in this quiet, sacred place, we chanted ancient prayers, and knelt before our God. We prayed to God, who for some, seemed distant and disconnected from all this hubbub. Yet to us in our pews, we knew our God was real and very much connected.
Faith tells us how ever close, ever caring and ever consoling-- especially at this precious moment of pain and mystery--God truly is! In listening to the meaningful words of our Scriptures: “The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God and no torment will ever touch them.” Once again, this truth came alive for us!
We felt our healing already beginning. From these words we knew our deceased loved one was in good hands, and that God would take care of him. We were comforted to know truly that our loved one would be protected by God for all eternity in the safety and security of these "hands of God."
It reminded us of why our loved one was created in the first place. God made him, as he made all of us, to love and to live eternally with Him.
How could this be any other kind of a day except special? Jesus' words from the Gospel confirmed this even more when he said: “I am the resurrection and the life and those who believe in me will live forever.” And because Jesus rose from the dead, we know that our loved one would too. But there is more! So will we!
For us kneeling in that sacred place this day, Jesus took the “sting” from death. In its place, Jesus added a better ending- a superb ending- One day we will all be together again. Yes, it was no ordinary day. It was a fantastic day! Hope in Jesus healed the loss.