Life is measured by How we Live, not by How Long we live…
(I originally posted this entry on January 20, 2017. It is fitting for where we are as a society today. Fr. DeLillio.)
When leaving office President Obama left behind many inspiring speeches. However, these words spoken at the funeral of Beau Biden, Vice President Biden’s son linger in my memory. They still have meaning even to this day.
"We do not know how long we’ve got here. We don’t know when fate will intervene. We cannot discern God’s plan. What we do know is that with every minute that we’ve got, we can live our lives in a way that takes nothing for granted. We can love deeply. We can help people who need help. We can teach our children what matters. We can pass on empathy and compassion and selflessness. We can teach them to have broad shoulders."
Of course, we remember that Beau Biden died in his prime, already living these spoken words of our former President. At someone’s passing we often look to our loving God for answers. This is especially true, when those we love die before their time. We wonder what God’s plan is and why our loved one died so young!
When God created us, He didn't promise anyone a certain number of years to live on this earth. He simply sent Jesus to show us how to live each year given in the best way possible.
Jesus' words excited His disciples then and us today with the same passion, vigor, gratitude and generosity. His invitation--Follow Me--changed the world in His day and Jesus still believes it can make a difference today.
Scriptures remind us that it is not the number of years we live that matter, but rather the life we put into each year before us that tells our story. This means we don’t count the numbers, rather look to the deeds flowing from year to year.
As President Obama so eloquently spoke:
"We can love deeply. We can help people who need help. We can teach our children what matters. We can pass on empathy and compassion and selflessness.”
And with the help of Jesus' special gift of grace to guide us---we can with each step we take!
When some years become extremely difficult to navigate, President Obama added,
"We teach them (our children) to have broad shoulders."
This is where St. Francis de Sales' words show us exactly who makes our shoulders broad:
"Do not worry about tomorrow the same everlasting God who cares for you today and everyday will either take away your pain or give you the grace to endure it. Put aside then all anxious fears and imaginations."
From all these wonderfully inspiring words we gain the hope we need, realizing that God who placed us on this earth will take care of us. God loves us all equally whether our name is Beau Biden, Barack Obama or the name we bear right now. Every year is a gift because God walks with us lovingly and caringly.
We are always His people and He is always our compassionate God.