Let Your Faith Guide Your Path
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Homily starts at 33:19
So, paths are very, very important for us because its guideposts as we travel through our lives – where we are wanting to eventually be. And so, some of us get to choose our own paths. Some of us have our paths chosen for us, in this particular case today, as we come together to celebrate the life of Helen Bagala. She got to choose her path. And her path was Vincent. Her path was to be with him, to be one with him, and to always be there for him no matter what circumstances were no matter what circumstances were – if they were wonderful times, if they were difficult times. Vincent chose to do the same thing with her. And, of course, you two guys (indicating her sons) – that was something that she decided on. She loved you guys, she did everything that she could for you guys.
This was a woman who never, ever met a stranger. A woman who within moments after meeting somebody was best friends. Someone who loved everything about life. She just wanted everything and everyone to be happy. She was this person who took every moment of her life and turned it into a celebration. And so, when she had holidays where she could actually decorate to show what it was that she loved about life, especially Halloween and Christmas, she would over-indulge. I mean, you go to sleep, and you wake up on Christmas Day and the house doesn’t even look the same. Yesterday it was Christmas, and today it is this heavenly thing. And Halloween. She really got to shine at Halloween. Because if you were lucky enough, and I see some of you guys may be young enough to experience this, if you were lucky enough to be one of Helen’s neighbors as a child, well, Halloween Helen was going to make sure that you had treats and things that most kids don’t really get a lot of. And again, she over-gave. Because that was her heart.
She didn’t confine her love to just us. She had dogs. And her dogs – she talked to them like children. She would sit outside in the evenings, sweating in the humidity, being eaten alive by mosquitoes. And if some of you aren’t from Texas, you are missing out on the mosquitoes. But she sat out there with them because they got cooped up all day. So, she would sit there and talk to them just like they were children, much to Vincent’s chagrin. He didn’t really get in lock-step with this talking to the animals like they were children, but it was Helen, so he was okay with it.
We have to understand that sometimes our paths have impediments thrown up in them. And it’s what we do after those impediments, it’s how we live our lives after we’ve had something devastating, something wonderful…She was looking so forward to Jonathan’s wedding coming up. I cannot imagine what that would have been like with your mom there. She would have been amazing. But she’s going to be there, just in a different way. And that’s what we have to do. We have to adjust to this new normal, and it’s going to be very, very difficult for these 3 gentlemen down here in the front because they have to live now, without the one who was their path. The one who guided them. The one who made sure that they didn’t get off the path, at least not for very long. It’s not to say that they couldn’t get off the path because certainly, if you have boy children, you know that boys have a tendency to get off the path. But in my visiting with you guys, it was so important to see the love that you had for this wonderful lady.
As we hear from the gospel today, Jesus is saying that we all have the opportunity to go Heaven. There’s many, many rooms, if we desire to be there. I know you desire to be there. This is not the end. That’s what the first reading was saying. “In the view of the foolish, they appeared to be dead.” Which means that this is not the end. Something better is waiting for us.
And I love the imagery of the second reading he talks about how we look not to what is seen, but what is unseen. Because what is seen – all of this – is passing away. It is transient. And if our earthly dwelling, a tent, it means it was meant to be temporary. This is not meant to be forever. But, with all of that, Jesus says – He makes this promise at the Last Supper from the gospel we are hearing today – “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that where I am, you also may be”.
Everything about this is about our faith. It’s about belief in things that we can’t see. But that’s what we live by today, moving forward. I want you guys to know that she’s watching over you, and that we’re praying for you. And I just pray for nothing more than a happy and a joyous life ‘til that day comes whenever we get to transition. And we get to do that why? Because Jesus went to His cross for all of us. To forgive every sin that we every committed. So, it’s through His resurrection we get to see her again.
God bless her. God bless you guys. We will continue to pray for you. And we are here if you ever need us.