Pastor’s letter for July 24, 2016: A Reflection on Mary
Last week my family marked the seventh anniversary of my
mother’s death. When I go home to visit my dad in the
Tri-Cities, I like to go down to the cemetery where my mom is
buried and visit her grave, which is just a few blocks from our house. I have
noticed though that the gravestone doesn’t look “new” anymore.
The passing of a parent is significant in anybody’s life and makes us think
about our origins and what our parents mean to us. My mom, in particular,
was very instrumental in communicating the faith to me and in the nurturing
of my vocation. For my mom the faith was “real” and an integral part of her
life and behavior. The Blessed Mother was a big part of her devotion and we
often prayed the Rosary together as a family. I guess I was somewhat lucky
in that my twin brother and I were the youngest so we got to have mom sort
of all to ourselves and I think she was much more relaxed by the time we
Though my mom is gone from this world, the effects of her life and person
remain in her children and others. Our faith tells us that in death life is
changed, not ended, and that Jesus himself has opened the path to eternal life.
When Jesus entered the tomb after his death, life gushed out the other side. I
know where my mother’s grave is, it has her name on it. We put her body
there seven years ago, but I believe “she” is not there, but she is with Christ
and enjoys the love and presence of Mary whom she loved.
Part of a life well lived is to take the good we have received from family,
friends and others and pass it on, keep it going. Obviously, we can also do
otherwise by passing on the bad and negative things we have received, which
I think often happens when anger, violence and racism are passed on. Who
are those people in our genealogies we want to emulate? What is good in
them we have received and would like to make our own and passed on? I
believe that Jesus and Mary formed much of the good that my mother was.
May our faith in Jesus and his Mother also form the good in us.
Pope Francis’ new document on Marriage and the Family, The Joy of Love
Amoris Laetitia, is now available. We have a limited supply at the Parish Office,
which are available on a first-come first-served basis. We are planning a study group
this fall, so drop by to pick up your copy.