There Is No Reason To Fear Death
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Gospel starts at 17:44
Homily starts at 18:58
So, Viannette, this is that time that we talked about. I wish had that magic wand. I wish I could take away all that hurt and all the pain that this loss – your husband – has caused you and Anna and Arianna. But I don’t have that. And the reason is because God does not give us that ability. And He doesn’t give us that ability because it is in difficult times that we are truly made what God intends of us. But the great thing is that He sent His Son, so that this is not the end. You’re going to get to see Valore again. And that’s the thing that your daughters, as they grow up and as you watch them, and as you walk along there with them, all the things that you are going to be doing with them, he’s going to be sitting right there beside you.
He had a good life, right? That first reading tells us that we cannot get caught up on the fact that he didn’t have 80 or 90 years. Because its not about how many years, its what you do with the years that you are given. Valmore did a great job! He loved his family, went out, found a woman who perfected his life. And, in that, perfected it once more with 2 beautiful daughters – daughters that he was extremely proud of. And so, even though, through the difficulties of life, even though we go into a place where we should feel perfectly safe, sometimes things just don’t work out the way that we had planned it to be. And, God, again, He cannot put us in a plastic ball. He cannot protect us from all the hurt – all the things that this world brings because we brought these things into the world, not God. God did not bring evil. God did not bring hurt and pain. All of that is what we brought into this life. God just does His best job of protecting us once that happens.
And that second reading – again, it is very, very important because what does it say? It says that even though our outer selves are beginning to waste away through disease, through injuries, through whatever it might be, even though this outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. Valmore never lost his belief in God. He believed, to the end, even as he went in for that surgery, he had an expectation of coming back out to a loving family. It didn’t happen. But look at everybody here today. They’re not here for Valmore. There’s nothing else we can do for him. They’re here for you, and Anna and Arianna, who are at home today watching. This is people who loved him, but because they loved him, love you. They’re going to be here, and they’re going to continue to take care of you through all of this.
Because, again, second reading, as Paul is saying to those Corinthians, what we see is transitory. What is unseen is eternal. So, all of this is passing away. All of this, one day, we will go on to that next place, where Valmore, as in the Gospel we heard, Jesus, at the Last Supper, He is telling those men, just like your husband would be telling you right now, “Don’t worry, I’m in a good place. I did what I was supposed to do. I loved you more than anything in the world.” And that’s what Jesus did for the Church. He modeled Jesus’ love for the Church in his love for you. And he was blessed, along with you with 2 beautiful daughters, who are going to grow up and do amazing, amazing things. And so, when it’s our time to step away, he’s going to be there to greet you, and he’s going to go, “What a fantastic job you did with those girls! I’m so proud of you!”
We don’t check out. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” And then He gives us assurance. “If there was not, would I have told you I’m going to prepare a place for you?” Its what your husband is doing right now. He’s preparing a place for you and your daughters when that time comes. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself so that where I am, you also may be.” What a great, great day. There is absolutely no reason to fear death, because that’s when you get that reunion with the man that you have loved so much for so long.
And then He says, whenever Thomas (thank God for St Thomas) who, none of the Apostles had any clue about what Jesus was saying, but at least St Thomas asked the question. And when he asked that question, he said, “Master, we don’t know where you’re going, how can we know the way?” That allowed Jesus to say, “I am that Way, I am that Truth, I am that Life. “ And then He says, “No one comes to the Father, except through Me.”
Now, we can sit there in our arrogance, and we can say, it’s because we believe in Jesus that we get to go to Heaven. No, that’s not what He said. What He said was, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Remember on that Friday, He was hung on a cross. And He suffered greatly for our sins, and every sin that had ever been committed, and every sin that will be committed went to rest. It was forgiven on that cross through His blood. They took Him down, laid Him in a tomb, shoved a rock over Him and that should have been it. But it wasn’t. And because it wasn’t, we get to see your husband, all of our ancestors that have gone before us, we get to see them because we know that He came out of that tomb – alive – destroying death forever.
You and the girls, just remember in everything that you do moving forward, how much he loved you, how proud he was of y’all. And know that the day’s coming when you get to see him again.