Lent was forty days of penance. But now…
After He rose from the dead, the Lord Jesus remained on earth for forty days. He interacted with numerous people, revealed many mysteries, taught His Apostles many things.
Those forty days were probably the most precious period of time in the history of the world. They are the greatest gift God has ever given–when He walked the earth as an immortal man, revealing our final destiny to us.
These forty days were a new beginning for the human race.
The Lord “walked” in the Garden of Eden, looking for Adam and Eve, but they were hiding themselves in shame. After He rose from the dead, Christ walked the earth as the new Adam, with the shame of human sin taken away.
Through the Sacred Liturgy of the Church, we can share in the original forty days of the Resurrection. All you have to do is go to daily Mass from now to Ascension Day!
…T.S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month.” (In my opinion, “The Waste Land” is his best poem, even though he wrote it before his conversion.)
Anyway, April would seem to be the cruelest month for me. Four years ago on April 2, Pope John Paul II died. Three years ago on April 27, my father died.
And now I have just buried my first pastor. (By the way–I was not an easy parochial vicar to deal with, but I did not give him his heart attack.) His date of death: April 9. Three fathers, three guides, mentors, intimate role-models–all dead in April.
The good thing is, I love death. I love caskets, funerals, cemeteries.
It is natural for priests to love death. We wear black because we are consecrated to the reality of life beyond this world. Death is how we get there.
Fr. Lee Fangmeyer said in Fr. Finch’s funeral homily: “It is easier to talk to people when they are dead than when they were alive.” I rely on my dad and the Holy Father (J.P. II) now more than ever, and I know Bill will help me, too.
May Father Bill Finch and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in the peace of Christ.