It was an unusually warm sunny January day. The scene was picturesque as the caravan of cars snaked behind the hearse into the cemetery grounds. Family and friends emerged to gather around the grave—opened and prepared to receive my father’s body. After a twenty-one-gun salute, taps, and a final blessing, the undertaker lowered the casket into the earth. Each child and grandchild walked past, bidding farewell, and then scoops of dirt descended upon his final resting place. As we left the cemetery, my heart filled with gratitude for a grace-filled funeral. Yet in the night's darkness, the stark reality of Dad’s death—his lifeless body forever encased in the earth—seized me. My heart racing, I thought, “If it could bring him back to life—for a day, an hour, or even a moment—I would claw my way to his casket, stopping at nothing to clutch him from the tomb.” But then I heard, “Peace be with you.”
Several of our adult children and a few of our older grandchildren took pity upon us this past weekend by boxing, lifting, and hauling load after load to prepare for a move. It’s grunt work, better suited for beast than man or woman. Without each family member’s sweat, cleaning out our house would be nearly impossible. But we were in need, and thankfully, they responded.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.