Today I would like to share some thoughts about Mary and the Resurrection but it isn’t the Mary you might be thinking of.
The Mary I am talking about is a friend of mine who just passed away. She was 90 years old. I first meet her a few months after I came back to Church. For about the first five or six years that I knew her the only place I ever saw her was at church. We would talk about how each of us was doing. She always thought it was wonderful that it was wonderful that I went into seminary. She would tell she just hoped she would live long enough and be able to come to my ordination. She did.
I think Mary had some health problems the first time I met her but she never let it stop her from coming to church for Mass every day and she would help with what she could, things like stuffing bulletins and newsletters.
Then Mary’s health began to get worse. She used to come to Mass every day but that diminished with her health. When I would come home from seminary on vacation I would make a point to stop by her house to see how she was doing. I would bring her Holy Communion.
Mary’s faith meant a lot to her. When she was still able to come to daily Mass, she would come a 1/2 hour hour and pray the Rosary with a group. Mary would spend much of the First Friday of the month at church for First Friday Adoration. Mary prayed a lot. She would talk about how she would pray her Rosary throughout the day for her children and grandchildren.
Mary believed! She believed in God who loved her and saved her. She beloved in God who watched over children and grandchildren. Her strong belief and the support that she had always shown for me made it very special for me with I gave her the Anointing of the Sick a few months ago.
She believed that Jesus would raise us up in the Resurrection if we followed him as the way and the truth and the life. Her funeral was today and I couldn’t help noticing that our daily readings right now are from chapter fifteen of First Corinthians, which is about the Resurrection. How fitting for a woman with strong faith.
Funerals are often seen as a time of sadness because we have lost someone we care about. We wish that person could still be with us here on Earth. But that is only part of what a funeral is. A funeral is also a celebration, a celebration of eternal life in the Resurrection. There is much to live beyond what we know in this world.
God will raise us up, body and soul, in the Resurrection. While our bodies first lie in death, worn out by illness and a long life, God will raise us up with our bodies in the Resurrection. But he does not just raise up our bodies as they are when we die. No, he transforms our bodies, freeing us from all sickness. We don’t know what it will be like to be raised up. We don’t know what our bodies will be like then.
What we do know is that if we believe in Jesus, he will raise us to be with him in the fullness of his presence. What more could we ask for? What more could we hope for?
That is where Mary will now go.