Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Comfort in the midst of sorrow

As we wait for our own death in the family, Fr. Fox at Bonfire of the Vanities just celebrated a funeral mass at his own parish. Here's a bit of his sermon.

For 58 years and counting, Mary and Paul had a romance. It was sealed in the sacrament of marriage. Marriage being a sacrament means it, too, is a sharing in divine life. All those ordinary events, all those ups and downs, all the joy—and sorrow: Mary, at all those moments, you and Paul were sharing the very life of God, through Jesus Christ. When your children were born, you had a Christmas moment; today, you have a Good Friday moment. But it’s all part of Christ. His birth, his life, his death…

And his resurrection.

All this and infinitely more was wrapped up in the Gift humanity received that first Christmas, so long ago: God became man that men might become God!

Bishop Fulton Sheen used to point out that Jesus was the only man ever born to die. That was the meaning of his life: to embrace the Cross, to embrace human suffering, all the way to death. So that the path of salvation, for all of us, would cut straight through that which is most terrifying, most sorrowful for us.

Recalling that now likewise gives us hope! Jesus came to die; so that we might live. He rose from the dead, to come back and share his divine life with us.

I can only imagine how hard it might be for you to celebrate Christmas this year—or in years to come.

But I pray that this might be some help to you. Jesus was born to die; the result is that we, in dying, are born to eternal life. Therefore, may this be in your thoughts, at this time of year, in time to come: Jesus’ birth means Paul will live— not just for a few years on earth —but forever.

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