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Move Toward Abundant, Christ-Filled Living

Homily 06 09 2013
10th Sunday OT - C

Homily 06 09 2013
10th Sunday OT - C

View the Readings for this day

You may know the story of a young minister who was asked by a funeral director to hold a graveside service for a homeless man who had died while traveling through the area.


The service was to be held at a new cemetery way back in the country. This man would be the first person laid to rest there.

As he was not familiar with the back woods area, the young minister soon became quite lost and finally arrived over an hour late.

He saw the backhoe by the grave and noticed that the crew was eating lunch under a nearby tree, but the hearse was nowhere in sight.

He apologized to the workers for his tardiness, and stepped to the side of the open grave, where he saw the vault lid already in place.

The young preacher assured the vault crew he would not hold them long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around still eating their lunch. The young preacher poured out his heart and soul.

As he preached the workers began to say "Amen," "Praise the Lord," and "Glory hallelujah."

The young preacher preached and preached like he'd never preached before, from Genesis all the way through Revelation.

He closed the lengthy service at last with a prayer and began to walk toward the car.

He felt he had done his duty to the homeless man, and that the crew would leave with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, in spite of his tardiness.

As he was opening the door and taking off his coat, he overheard one of the workers saying to another, "I ain't never seen anything like this before . . . and I've been putting in septic tanks for over twenty years."

We laugh about the things that make us uncomfortable. Therefore, there are many good jokes about death.

My favorite is the funeral notice for a movie theater owner. It read like this: Martin Levine, owner of a movie theater chain in New York City, has passed away at age 65. The funeral will be held on Thursday at 2:10, 4:20, 6:30, 8:40, and 10:50. (2)

We laugh to keep from crying.

The Bible doesn't give us any good news about taxes, but it does give us good news about death. Both our Old Testament lesson and our lesson from the Gospel of Luke for this day are about death, and they are quite similar.

In today's Gospel Lesson, a young man has died and is being carried out of the city by a large procession of mourners to the place of burial. At the same time, Jesus and His disciples are being followed by a great crowd into the city.

As He approaches the funeral procession, Jesus sees the dead man's mother and He "felt sorry for her." He takes the initiative (no one has asked Him to do anything) and says to the grieving woman, "Do not cry." Then He touches the bier and says, "'Young man, I tell you to get up.' And the dead man sat up and began to talk" (Lk. 7:14-15).

This is a moving example of Jesus' power and tenderness.

Nevertheless, we know that the young man's escape from death is temporary. In time, he will die again, and his departure from this earth will be permanent.

But, in the present situation, for reasons we cannot explain, Jesus gives the young man more time.

Every life will end in death. There are times when we may feel we will live forever, but sooner or later every person faces the inevitability of death.

Death is a shadow no one escapes. Even in the midst of life we are dying, and the end is coming soon.

"Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days," was the Psalmist's lament. "Let me know how fleeting my life is!" he pleaded (Psalm 39:4).

We are called to compassion as Jesus was in raising the son of the Widow of Nain from the dead. It's a heavy subject so I thought I'd lighten at the end with a story. I realize that our gift to those who die is to pick up the threads of our lives and to begin to live as fully as can.

That's what my parents would have wanted. That's what those who have gone on to heaven always want for those left behind. They want us to pick up our lives and move on with the conviction that the God who loves us also loves them.

God is not the God of the dead, Jesus once noted, but of the living.

That means that those we love are still living with Him. If we believe that, we have no choice.

We must move toward abundant, Christ-filled living again. We may not be ready to do cartwheels just yet, but ultimately that is the will of the Father.

That is the will of those who have gone on before us. We are called to Arise, and live.


Home Homilies Homily 06 09 2013

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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

Find Us

Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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