From the blog of my friend Dr Gerard Nadal,
Note: It’s been two weeks like no other. Yesterday we had the funeral mass and burial of Jon in Warwick, NY. We also had the memorial for Kortney and Sophy in Virginia.
Today, on the Lord’s Day, we rest.
Tomorrow, all will return to our lives and a new normal, a phase of healing and living the rest of our lives marked indelibly by the searing events of the past two weeks. As we keep the Blythe, Gordon , and Scharfenberger families in our prayers.
Here’s Deacon Kandra:
By a happy coincidence, this gospel touches on a theme that was so vital to Pope John Paul. In the parable, a tree is given one more chance to bring forth good fruit. The gardener gives it that chance; he offers it the gift of mercy. John Paul, you’ll remember, was beatified on the Feast of Divine Mercy. In fact, the opening prayer for this mass begins, “Oh God, who are rich in mercy…”
My take on loss and bearing good fruit
Today we bid farewell to Sr John Baptist SCRC, a beautiful nun who was only 50 years old of cancer, and dozens of people have come to her beside to pray one last time with Sister whose tender blue eyes and ever-present smile reflected Heaven.
My 14 year old daughter Bella was musing on what a shame is was that good people like Jon, Kortney and Sr John Baptist go home so young. We were peeling apples for a pie at the kitchen table. Suddenly she picked up an apple and said with a smile, “God always picks the ripe apples!”
Jon, Kortney and Sr John Baptist have accomplished their purpose in this life. No, we’re not satisfied, we wanted Jon to save more babies, either marry or go into the priesthood, and we know Benjamin Gordon wanted to raise his unborn daughter Sofy with his new wife Kortney.
We wanted Sr John Baptist to beam her radiant smile at us, take our hands, as she always did, and reassure us that “this too will pass” as we mourn her death.
But these three have accomplished their life’s mission, sanctity. This is our mission as well, we are all called to be saints, these three were ‘ripe’ in that they were already full of God’s grace and love, and ready to go home. That is why the pain felt at their loss is so keen. The loss of their sweetness seems unbearable and unjust.
We mustn’t begrudge God His excellent taste in wanting to pick the ripe apples. After all, they drew their sweetness from Him.