For some faith seems to part of their lives just for an hour on Sunday. The rest of the week they seem to forget about how our faith calls us to live. God is present among us at all times and in every place. Our faith should be part of everything that happens in our lives.
While God is with us all the time in every place, God is present in a special way for the important moments in our lives. Today I celebrated two such moments with two different families. The first was a funeral at St. Januarius’ in Naples. The deceased was a 46-year-old man who died of cancer. Our faith is very important when a loved one dies. It is our faith in Jesus that we count on for hope in death. The most common gospel for funerals is John 14:1-6 where Jesus tells us that he goes to prepare a place for us in his father’s house. When we lose a loved one to death, this is exactly what we need to hear. There is something more to life than what we know in this world. Jesus is the first to raise but all who believe in him will share in the Resurrection and know the gift of eternal life.
After celebrating the funeral in the morning, I presided at a wedding in Penn Yan in the afternoon. Of course, a wedding marks a joyous time in life. Two people becoming one because of their love for each other. It’s in love that the couple have come to know each other. We are love because we are first loved by God. We come to know God’s love through the love of our family and friends. When a couple enters into marriage in love with each other, their love becomes a sign of God’s love.
When we mourn at a funeral we do it because we loved the one who has died. When a couple comes together in marriage it is in love.
In this Sunday’s Gospel (October 23, 2011), Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor. May we always profess God’s love in all we do.