At least one person has told me that no one would expect a weekly reflection this week given all the time, energy and responsibilities that are part of the preparations for my mom’s funeral. However, I strongly believe that I would be neglecting my vows as a priest and pastor if I did not use her passing as an opportunity for reflection for each of you.
Since the wee hours of Sunday, I have spent so much time these days, over and above the expected running around that one does in the cleaning out, packing up, finalizing the legalities, setting up the repast, coordinating travel schedules, confirming our Prayer Book funeral liturgy and writing the sermon/eulogy, having too many conversations where I am trying to rebuild bridges and mend fences long broken.
I have had to rehear stories of past hurts and slights, of anger misplaced and relationships broken. I have come to see, as I always believed, that words that escape our mouths can never be taken back. In life, unlike Law and Order court scenes, there is no “the jury will disregard that last comment.” Shakespeare was so right: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”
As believers, we place our trust in the loving mercy of a Father who seeks out the lost and welcomes back the prodigal. But you all might take to heart that every sound you utter, every act performed, every promise you make and break will someday rebound upon your children and their children.
As Christians, I would hope that in addition to any IRA or property you plan to leave your families, you would primarily leave them the legacy of a life well lived and the example of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life: charity, joy, peace, patience and the other virtues which St. Paul often quotes. May people see the light of Christ shining in and through you. When all is said and done, faith will outlast finances, and only love is greater than death.