By Msgr. David 


Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Here is a thought from last week’s homily: Patience in this scripture (Love is patient) is like the man who is wronged and who has it easily in his power to avenge himself and who yet will not do it.

A priest once commented to me that death either heals or destroys. When my dad died, my family experienced healing. It is not that we did a horrible job of loving one another before dad’s death; we just do a better job since his death. For me personally, I live with more gratitude. I am aware of the gift God has given me in each of my siblings and especially my mother.

Some time ago I saw a healing moment in another family. As the family gathered around the casket for the opening rite of their dad’s funeral Mass, I watched a man reach for the hands of each of his siblings, one at a time. It was a moment of spontaneity. It was a moment of healing. As he took each hand, their hands together touched the casket. I don’t know what was healed. The grace of our Risen Savior was pouring from heaven. I could feel it.

The death of a loved one can also bring to the surface the unfinished business of a family. The pain that they have caused in one another is right at the surface, ready to boil. There is no peace. Their grief is great and they are far from grace; there is no embrace. The death of this family’s loved one did not destroy anything. It merely revealed the divisions that already existed.

When you hear of a death in the community, pray hard for them. Maybe our prayerful support can be the difference between healing and the agony of disharmony.