The Hidden Beauty of a Funeral (((HOMILY))) 6th Sunday of Easter
by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday May 17, 2020
The church was empty as the father of the deceased walked up the main aisle to the open casket. I watched him intensely, careful not to make a sound in my wooden pew. Gently, he put his hand on his daughter's forehead, mouthing some mysterious inaudible words that only a father with a grieving heart can say. He stood there resolute, never breaking his gaze as he looked upon her still, young face. It was the same face he stared at when she was just a newborn. It was the same face that cried in the middle of the night when she hungry; it was that lovely face that cooed and giggled when they played. If it came down to it, I knew he could stand there for hours, days, or even weeks if he had to. Love does that.
There is a hidden beauty to funerals, I must say. The passing of our loved ones, like no other event of our human experience, can cut through the clutter of our lives as powerfully. It brings the things of highest value to the fore, breaks our hardness, and shakes our very foundations. It's not by accident that Jesus allowed himself to endure this same death to show us the greatest act of love in history. It is as if he said, "There is something more here. Do you see it?"