Sunday, November 3, 2019

31st Sunday C Requiem

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.  – D.D. Matthews         

Today we remember with gratitude all our beloved dead, parents, spouses, children, relatives, friends—all who ever worshipped here.

Telling stories, remembering, and giving thanks is rooted in our celebration of the Eucharist and in “the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.”

It is the way we affirm that our relationships with those we love do not end in death. “Do this in remembrance of me.”

This is the central message of the Catholic faith: Our lives are not accidental. We were created. Our lives mean something, have a purpose, and have a future.

We are constantly being loved, forgiven, redeemed. We are not here to posture and pose but to be thankful for the gift of life.

It is our privilege, it is our mission and to protect, to nurture and to hand on life through our own self-gift.

Being a decent human being is worth it. It’s how we are supposed to live. It’s what we were created to do.

No hype. No nonsense—but such joy in being connected to others, such joy in playing our tiny part in the vast enterprise of human thriving. We call this the Kingdom of God.

I don’t believe that our beloved dead are “at rest” twiddling their thumbs until the resurrection on the last day. I believe that those who are with Jesus are with us. Their memory is a treasure we draw on.

I believe that God rejoices in his saints, is delighted to see the web of relationships, the handing on of self-emptying love in his people from generation to generation. Those relationships do not die.

That self-gift, that eternal life, that grace was at work when the universe was born, when we were created, when he came among us as a frail human being, when he died for us on the cross.

That self-gift, that eternal life is at work now, God willing, in and through us. Listen again to the 1st reading. Really listen. It is happening right now, in this moment:

The whole world before you, O Lord, is like as a grain from a balance or a drop of the morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have merciful on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook people’s sins, that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you had willed it; or be preserved had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living. For your immortal spirit is in all things. Therefore, you correct little by little those who trespass, and you remind and warn them of the things through which they sin, so that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in you, O Lord.

Now remember Zacchaeus. Jesus comes to his house in order to be his guest. He comes to ourhouse. He corrects us little by little.

“You spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.”

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