Saturday, March 17, 2018

She was put to the test

Here is the text of the homily prepared for the funeral liturgy which was celebrated this morning at the church of the Holy Family (Ste-Famille) in Blind River, Ontario.

Funeral homily for Adrienne Chauvin

This morning, we have come here to pray for a dear sister of ours.  We have known her as a friend, as a wife, as a mother, as a grandmother and a great-grandmother but above all, in the family of God, she has been a sister to us, for everyone moved by the Spirit is a child of God (Rom 8:14).  The Holy Spirit entered into Adrienne’s life on the day of her baptism, From that time onward, she began to learn how to speak with God, how to call out to him when she was in need.  Saint Paul tells us that because we are all children of God, we can always call him by a special name: Abba, a word that means Father, or more precisely daddy.

Adrienne was granted 93 years to live here among us.  During that time, I wonder how often she heard the words of scripture that we have heard today.  I wonder how often she prayed these words, how often she pondered them, how deeply she believed them to be true.  If we are God’s children, we are also heirs: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his suffering while we live here on earth, but always in the hope of one day sharing in his glory (Rom 8:17).

Adrienne spent 63 years married to her husband Léo.  Those who have attended the school of life will tell you that no matter what our path in life should be, every one of us has to work hard some days to make our way, but there are also moments that are worth celebrating, so together we give thanks today for the wisdom that we have learned from this great woman.  We trust that her soul is now in the hands of God (cf Wis 3:1).  She will no longer walk among us, she will no longer speak with a mortal tongue but she is at peace now (Wis 3:3) for in this life, God put her to the test and has found her worthy (Wis 3:5) and therefore she will now live with him in love, for grace and mercy await all those He has chosen (Wis 3:9).

It is good that we are here today to remember Adrienne in the presence of our God, to look back in thanksgiving for all the good that God has done in and through her, but we too must now take the wisdom that we have gained from her and courageously put it into practice so that others who we meet will also see that we are dressed for action (Lk 12:35) never afraid to speak to others about who Jesus is and how he is working in our lives.

We have been given a special mission in this world: the task of waiting for Jesus to return from heaven.  When he does, he has promised that he will take us to be with him in heaven.  He will sit us down at his banquet table and he will be the one to serve us.  It might seem strange that the master should be the one to serve us, but Jesus will do that willingly, just as Adrienne did countless times at her own table.

We do not know when the Lord will come and call us home, but for that reason, we must all stand ready.  The final days of Adrienne’s earthly life should provide us all with a warning to heed these words.  Don’t delay any opportunity that you have to be kind, to welcome a stranger, to do a good deed for someone.  The Son of Man is coming at an hour we do not expect (Lk 12:40).  When he comes, he will take us to heaven, and we will see Adrienne once again.  For now, we take leave of our sister, but we live in hope of the day that we will once again be reunited.

No comments: