It’s been quite a while since I posted something, and many things have happened since then. For now, I will just focus on the reality that two people I know have passed away from Covid-19. One, Victor, was a student of mine in diaconate formation, and I got to know him a little better when I gave presentations on the human formation in diaconate a few years back. Victor was a kind, humble man who loved the idea of serving the people in his community. He also deeply loved his wife, Lulu, whom I know is suffering very much now and is missing him terribly, as so many others who knew him are too.
This week, another person I knew, Jaime, also passed away from Covid-19. Jaime and I worked together in formation for many years, teaching the same year of formation, until he was unjustly and uncaringly dismissed about four years ago. I know Jaime suffered immensely from that unjust dismissal. And he then suffered from the loss of his mother, an accident of his wife, the loss of his business and then their home in which they had lived many years, the loss of his ministry and parish community. It was all very painful and affected him greatly, until he got sick from this virus that all of us have had to deal with and have been affected by in so many different ways. He is finally at rest now and at peace.
I can only imagine the welcome that both Victor and Jaime received from God when they crossed the threshold of this life into the next. They were both good and humble servants to the people of God and will now be enjoying the loving embrace of our loving and compassionate God.
It makes me angry that we sometimes have to endure the injustices and mistreatments of others, especially when they come from others in the church. I want to scream out, “Where is your compassion and love that we are supposed to live by?! You are supposed to be an example of the love that God has for all of us, and yet you are just the opposite! You hypocrites!”
And then I remember that I too am a hypocrite at times, I too fail to love others at times, I too am imperfect and weak. It is not to justify or excuse the bad behavior of others, but if I keep hurling stones at others, all the windows in the building will be broken. Instead, I want to do my part of doing what I believe God wants me to do: give comfort to the hurting, renounce injustices (which I did, but that’s for another post), care for the sick, if I can, be kind to our neighbors, and do my part to contribute the drop of water into the ocean of God’s love around me.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and as he so wisely said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only light can do that.” I want to do my part to bring more light to this world and make it a little better when I am gone. I know Victor and Jaime worked to do that themselves in their service to others, even if they themselves were not perfect. But God doesn’t ask us to be perfect; God asks us to bring light to the world, to be the Good News and to share that Good News with those who need to hear it. May we all commit ourselves to be that light and to put our drop of water into the ocean of God’s love. Then we too will be welcomed into the reign of Love by the loving God who created us all. Rest in peace, Victor and Jaime. I miss you.