Dear Church Family,
I remember Fr. Chris telling me that in his younger years as a pastor in a small country town it was the custom of the priest to get into his car and lead the funeral procession, the hearse and everything to the cemetery, which was a few miles away. So, they all followed him. As he was going through a little town he remembered he needed a few groceries. So he turned right into the store parking lot. He couldn’t find a parking place so he went up and down the parking lot looking for a place to park. All of a sudden he looked behind him and saw all the cars following him, the hearse and the funeral director. He didn’t know what to do except pull out of the parking lot and continue on the journey. When he got to the cemetery he said, “You noticed we took a little detour. It was just to remind you that we leave all material things behind. The only thing that really matters is our wonderful relationship with the Lord. We go from grave to the crown of heaven.” Alleluia!
In the gospel readings today we have stories of interrupted funerals. All of sudden we especially see Jesus coming by chance into a town and there is a procession to the grave. He stops the procession and has pity on the poor widow who would have no one to take care of her. Widows in those days were very weak and vulnerable. They did not have any kind of job or support. Feeling this sorrow Jesus raised the young man from the dead.
Today, as we hear these stories especially maybe by chance of Jesus running into this funeral procession, it was no way planned but yet that miracle story brings another thought to my mind. Just as Jesus was out on the road doing things, interacting and being seen by many, so the more we are out there interacting with people. Perhaps we meet people from grade school or high school and they tell us about some suffering or somebody dying. We go home and write the widow and say we heard about your husband dying so we want to let you know we are going to dedicate special memorial prayers and I will have my pastor, Fr. Bob, put it in our church paper. Anything like that can happen when we expose ourselves to the world a little more and get involved in helping a little more whether it be in the political process, charity process, helping with St. Vincent DePaul or Warm Meals, just something to get us out doing other things. You never know all the little consequences I certainly claim many little miracles that I don’t call coincidents when I am at the right place at the right time and I am able to really be present a moment to offer healing, strength and courage.
Church, today recognize the Lord all around you. Open yourself up to new experiences and in those experiences you will interact and interrelate with many more people. Maybe sometime you will be inspired to offer a little extra prayer, acts of kindness and blessings. Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob