At noon on Saturday, 24 February 2018, I played the funeral Mass of the 5-year-old in Elizabeth, NJ, who was taken too soon from this world by the flu. I braced myself for a painful, soul-wrenching experience as I watched the family and friends pour in, as I watched the tiny white casket wheeled down the nave, and yet, I left that church almost speechless... and not for the reasons that you would assume.
I was amazed and encouraged by the strength of that family. Naturally, there were some tears – who cannot do so while witnessing the burial of a child so young and so dear to so many hearts? –, but those people’s faith in the Resurrection and their acceptance of God’s plan proved to me how weak is my own faith and how I have a mighty long way to go until I myself can surrender fully to God’s Will. I don’t know if I could have shown such resilience in such a situation. As the mourners were leaving the church, I alluded to the Disney anthem, “Let It Go”, which was the girl’s favourite song.
All I know is this: I am fortified. I am empowered. To witness the power of faith in such a disheartening situation, I know that I am a pilgrim upon a journey to reconcile myself with that same power. I am ready to walk on. Whether it be your faith in Christ or your faith in your own self, you must never let the doubts and fears of sadness overcome that light that pushes you onwards. Be an active force of light and hope, of love and perseverance. We have come this far by faith; how can we turn back now?
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).