The Empty Chair
Gospel starts at 29:45
Homily starts at 31:26
So, I had this homily all prepared, and then I saw this picture. [Shows the front of the worship aid.] I don’t know what the intent was picking this picture. Maybe it was just the favorite picture of y’all’s. But it tells such a beautiful story. I mean, look at that picture. It’s a woman who loved life. She also loved him. And because of that, you guys are here, right?
And so, today we celebrate the life of a woman who did nothing but service in her life. A nurse – that’s not the easiest thing in the world to be. I was in the hospital – I know what nurses go through. It’s a tough, tough job. Home Health – going to people’s home and taking care of them. Some of them don’t even care to be taken care of. And so, somehow, some way, she had to find joy enough that she can go into those homes and do the things that she did. Childcare – I guess she just didn’t get enough of you guys being little, right? And, of course, Aiden. She gets to extend that. It’s such a wonderful picture because it tells such a beautiful story.
And we hear today in these readings, that she’s a citizen now of a totally different city – the New Jerusalem. And that’s where we all want to be eventually. And so, again, this picture tells about her joy of where she is now.
And then the second reading tells that there is absolutely nothing – Jesus is telling us that there is nothing that can come between us and the love of God through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. So, Paul is telling this to the Romans. He’s saying, “Guys, nothing – nothing – we don’t have to be afraid of anything out there. It can’t separate us from the love of God.
And then, of course, the Gospel. The Gospel has this beautiful story about how its never too late . We can always, always, ask for forgiveness, and He’s going to forgive us. “I tell you today you will be with me in Paradise.”
So, as much as I mess up, and I mess up a lot, as much as I mess up, I know that I don’t have to worry about anything. So, I would love to end the homily here – nothing but joy and everything else, but, in reality, we have to accept the fact that you guys have lost somebody very beautiful – someone who is important in your lives. And so, as you move forward, whenever you come together here – your gatherings and stuff like that – there’s going to be an empty chair. Don’t take that chair away. Let that chair stay there. That’s representative of your mom, how much she loves you, and that she’s there. She’s going to be there with you guys.
So, we live in a world that has become more and more dispassionate. We just don’t care. And so, whenever you go out there now, as orphans, more or less, you go out there, and the world gives you this impression – “Who cares?” Your answer should be a resounding “We do!”