God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

Portrait of Thomas Gray
by John Giles Eccardt, Via Wikipedia

An English Poet, Thomas Gray, wrote these words: “The paths of glory lead, but to the grave.”  During this time of year newspapers and television stations will list the names of those famous people who died in the past year.  It’s interesting to read – this year was no different, Mary Tyler Moore, Jim Nabors, Jerry Lewis, Della Reese.  The list goes on.  For a day or so, these persons receive our attention.  Then, they are forgotten; remembered only in their family circle.

We can be certain of two happenings in life . . . Death and Taxes.  How strange that we give so much thought and interest to Taxes.  Rich people must find it especially difficult to die and leave all their riches behind.  We don’t see Brinks trucks in funeral processions.  Be grateful that we don’t have too much money.  Death will be easier for us to accept.

A story tells of a parish reception for the retiring Pastor.  In the Banquet Room, a huge banner had these words, “Best wishes to our Retiring Pastor, Father ‘What’s his Name?’ ” Yes, we priests are quickly forgotten, as are others who live alone with no offspring.

A priest with whom I once lived, very popular in his day, told me that after his retirement from parish life, he thought that he would be called back frequently for funerals and weddings.  In his first year, he received calls for one funeral and one wedding.  Lesson:  Don’t make ourselves too important.  Life goes on well when we are gone.

When I would drive by the many cemeteries in our part of town, I could often hear the voices of the dead crying out: “We today – You tomorrow”.  I would stop and think about my death.  What will I be saying on my own death bed?  Why did I wear out my feet more quickly than my knees?  I wish I had shown more love to the people about me.  Why was I always thinking about life (as if I were to be here on earth forever), when death and eternal life was the big reality to consider?

Act on these thoughts now, while we still have the gift of earthly life.  Live each day with the intent of helping others and being a model of this Jesus of Nazareth whom we love and follow.  Many years ago I made up my Wake Service and my Funeral Mass Programs with the anticipation of the Great Awakening soon to come.  Over the years, it has been a great way to keep me on my toes and on my knees.

Fr. George McKenna

January 27, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 4 Comments

We Are Only Passing Through

My sister-in-law Anne McKenna entered Eternal Life on April 1, 2017. Weighing only 3 pounds when she was born, she grew into an amazing woman, wife and mother. I presided over her wedding to my brother Frank, and was there to baptize all their children.
She was a woman of strong faith and was at peace with God. She is now sharing in the rewards of heaven with her Loving Lord.

This parable story helped me to see the meaning of life more clearly.  Once upon a time, an infant began to grow in the womb of its mother.  As the months went by, the little one enjoyed a peace and tranquility that it would never possess in life outside the womb.  For one thing, it had no responsibilities since the mother took care of all its needs.

One day, a voice came to the infant, “In a certain sense, you are going to have to die, leave this world of your mother’s womb and enter a fantastic world of beauty and enjoyment.  Here nature will show you marvelous things, the stars, the moon and a great ball of fire, the sun, along with an amazing number of animals, birds, and insects dressed in all the colors of the spectrum!  You will delight in human friendships, in music and art of all kinds.”

On hearing this message, the infant, not understanding the words immediately declared, “I want to stay here.”  However, Nature took its course, ushering the child into the new world with its noise and brightness.  Here, the child grew into an adult, thoroughly enjoying the beauty and the thrilling experience of life.  How delighted he was that he didn’t stay in the womb of his mother.

After many years, a voice once again came to this person, “You are going to die and go into another world where you will see God face to face.  In this world, no one experiences sickness, pain, or discomfort of any kind.  All are perfectly happy.”

Again, the person did not comprehend these words.  One thing he knew – that he didn’t want to leave this earth so full of beauty and many little pleasures.  “I want to stay here”, he responded.  However, death ushered him in the next world.  The reality of joy and glory he found in this new world far exceeded his wildest dreams and hopes.  In the atmosphere of this loving home of God, his whole being expanded with happiness and delight.

How glad he was that he didn’t stay on earth with its meager bits of peace and miss this stupendous place of love.  Life on earth is not our lasting home.  We are only passing through, so there is no need to get upset about too many things.  Love God, and serve Him alone.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

April 7, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 11 Comments