This weekend in the parish we had Masses in the two cemeteries with large numbers attending. In my homily I focused on mortality and how to live within the faith vision of the gospel. Here is an outline of what I said.
Many years ago a missioner who came to Kenmare gave a homily on these 3 principles: ONE LIVE TO LIVE, ONE GOD TO SERVE, ONE SOUL TO SAVE.
ONE LIFE TO LIVE: When we are young and life is going well, we can think that this will go on forever. This is an illusion. In 100 years time we will all be in a cemetery. We can’t live our lives a second time. How do we make the best choices this time through?
ONE GOD TO SERVE: We live life the best when we remember our created purpose as God’s children. The old catechism had as its first question: Who made me? God made me. The second question: Why did God make me? To know, love and serve him in this life and be happy with him forever in the next. Thus in today’s gospel Jesus gives us a wonderful invitation to live a life of friendship with him: “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.”
ONE SOUL TO SAVE: This is the most important outcome of our lives – not whether we die a millionaire of penniless. The second reading points out how we do this: “Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you”. Our intention to live a spiritual life rather than an unspiritual life is the way we say YES to God and invite the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. This we do by giving time to daily prayer, worshipping God – particularly by coming to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, and by keeping the Ten Commandments – God’s rules for right living. When we die in the state of grace – having the Holy Spirit living within us – then that same Spirit who brought Jesus back from the dead on Easter Sunday will bring us to the Resurrection after death too.
In summary: As on this Cemetery Sunday we contemplate the Big Picture and the meaning of our lives, the wisdom of this forgotten Kenmare missioner still speaks to us: ONE LIVE TO LIVE, ONE GOD TO SERVE, ONE SOUL TO SAVE.