I listened to the eulogy of this amazing man with tears in my eyes. The funeral was packed with friends and family, and the smell of incense filled the air. I was so glad to be there, a small person in a much larger community.
My daughter would like me to share, at this point, that the funny thing was that I actually didn’t know the person for whom the funeral was being given…. In fact, hadn’t even gone to church intending to attend a funeral. It is true… I walked in just as they were getting ready to give the eulogies and I felt akward walking back out. So, I stayed.
And… I was so glad I did. Because it was inauguration day and what I had wanted to do was go to church and pray the rosary to protect our country. Instead, I got to cry tears for something far more important even than my fears and disgust at politics. The world should both honor and mourn every father, son, mother, daughter, who gets out there every day and battles to make their home, their community, their world a better place.
And do NOT get me wrong…. Not everyone does this. As I meditated upon later, when the church was quiet and I finally said my rosary, even as Jesus fell on his way to Calvary, our humanity often gets in the way of our higher purpose. I find it ironic that the same people who were leading Jesus to his death were also the ones who forced Simon of Cyrene to step in and help him in his human weakness carry Jesus’ cross. The soldiers helped Jesus fulfill his higher purpose. Simon didn’t really want to help carry the cross. It was heavy. And he was next to someone called out as a criminal. And he maybe didn’t want to be in the spotlight like that. And, probably, he knew he was helping take a man to his death. But by the soldiers- the government in actuality- forcing Simon to help carry the cross they also helped Simon fulfill his higher purpose.
I suppose the lesson I walked away with was that, sometimes you think you are going to say a rosary and are led to the place you most need to be. Sometimes the world around us creates chaos, and God still finds a way for us to do the right thing at the right time. What is too complicated to see at a macro level shines brightly in my face when memorializing one human life.