Thanks to all at St. Blog’s for your kind condolences at the death of my mother last week. The funeral was on Monday at her parish church in New Hampshire.
The new pastor, a kind young fellow who works on the diocesan tribunal, celebrated the Mass with reverence and peace, and gave an encouraging homily. At the end of the Mass he read out my own message of thanks to the parish, which sounds like a little homily on its own, come to think of it….

In every Advent season, we remember the two comings of Christ our Lord: his humble coming in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, and his glorious coming which lies ahead of us in the fullness of time.
For now, we are between these two great comings, and during this in-between time, we still find Christ coming to meet us, but in other ways, less visible ways. I like to see His coming in the workings of God’s grace in people’s lives and hearts.
That grace has been at work here in this parish, in the human friendships and kindness that led our mother Elsie to hope for God’s friendship and kindness.
It was at work in the generosity of teachers and sponsors, priests and lay people, who guided her through her beginning steps in the Christian faith.
Above all, it was at work in the Holy Baptism she received here at Easter 1997 when she solemnly professed that faith.
For God’s grace working in all these ways and all these people, we will be forever grateful.
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Our mother Elsie has joined the many who have died in Christ, who have left this life on earth. Here we know God through faith; now they are on their way to the real life where they will see the Lord face to face.
During this in-between time for the faithful departed, God will make perfect everything that was incomplete; He will make whole all that was broken. Even now, He lets us help them along through our prayers, that He will bring them swiftly through that time of healing, through to the fullness of joy.
Thank you for joining your prayers today with ours and with this holy Mass offered for the repose of our dear mother Elsie.
Grant her eternal rest, O Lord;
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
Amen.