This is a reflection from my personal prayer journal after a funeral that I presided at yesterday.  It was for this amazing, larger-than-life man who embodied holiness.  He was kind, gentle, humble, forgiving, always loving, compassionate.  As I thought about the service and the tremendous outpouring from friends and family, these are my thoughts:

Imagine. . . Image if all that we have been taught about the presence of God as being "in heaven," different from us, always other than us is totally wrong?  What if the incarnation is real -- real like my monthly mortgage payment?  What if God is totally enwrapped in us and we in God (as St. Patrick's Breastplate suggests), now, all the time -- in us and in everyone else in every circumstance and happening (including my mistakes and my hidden shames)?

What if mortal death is an awareness of this realization and a more immediate participation in this ongoing nearness? What if our dead relatives and friends and neighbors and everyone else are still with us (love is eternal), just in a different presence, but still with us? What if the Eucharist that we hold in our hands is just as much about our hands as it is the Sacred Bread?

What if we have taken the stories of Jesus "going up into heaven" and his return in glory (Matt 25) far too literally? What if the question of the "two men dressed in white garments" that we read in the first chapter of Acts is the same question asked of us: "why are you standing there looking at the sky?" (Acts 1:11)
 


Comments

Anonymous
03/24/2012 8:23am

This is a beautiful prayer. Fr. Bill did you write this?

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