The other day, I went to a funeral for my mother’s friend’s brother. When I got to the church, I turned the corner onto a side-street that leads into the church parking lot and drove my car into the parking lot. I drove and looked and drove, and realized that the entire church parking lot was filled. I thought, am I in the right place?
So I got back onto the side street and continued down to get a spot on the street. Going and going, and finally, in the edge of the grass at the very end of the street, I was able to find a place to park. I’m thinking, there must be a wedding or something in the main church, then there must be a little chapel where this funeral is.
So, I start walking up the street to the church, and there is a couple walking ahead of me. I asked, “Is there a wedding here today?” “We’re going to a funeral.” I could tell, then there was no wedding going on. All these people were there for this one man’s funeral. Wow, I thought. This was a very special man.
So, I go into the church and sure enough, it is packed. Standing room only. And at the very end, the deceased man’s son gave the eulogy. He seemed like a great son, he talked about his father with devotion and affection, with humor and poignant insights. He talked about his father’s faith in God and his prayer. He described what a peaceful death he had, how he had been there with him. You could tell that this was a special man.
So, as he was wrapping up the eulogy, he paused and held back tears. Then he said, “My father said to me so many times that he always wanted to be half the man his father was. Well, I am sure that when he died, that Christ was there, and also his mother and his father. And I’m sure his father said to him, ‘You did it. You were everything I was and more.’ So, if you want to remember my father, to do something in his memory, I would suggest you do one thing. Be like him.”
The Lord gives us a commandment. He does not tell us to do this or do that like a boss. No, His commands are deep inside us, in our conscience. He speaks in our heart. And He tells us to remember the Father, to be grateful and to do something in His memory. It’s not a task list or a creative project. It’s just one thing:
Be like Him.
“On that day you will realize that I am in the Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” (Jn 14:20-21)