Funeral Homily for Dot (May 29, 2012)
Have you ever asked yourself, "What is the purpose of life?" It's a question that we ask ourselves when we are going through some trials. Sometimes trials test our physical and emotional limit and even bring us to the unfamiliar terrain of doubt. Dot was no stranger to trials, even at the last moment of her life, as she suffered through cancer.
In his First Letter, St. Peter reveals what the purpose of life is as he writes to those in the Church of Asia Minor who were undergoing persecution and suffering. It is even more applicable for us today. He says, "Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
Someone unseen inspired Dot to spend much of her free time making rosaries. She trusted that these little labor of love, meant something for the One whom she loved. She believed that much glory will come to Heavenly Father as people,who are fortunate to receive her rosary, prayed and meditated on the life of Jesus.
And she was not the type to ask something for herself. Rather, she was the one who readily asked, "Is there anything I can do for you?" Perhaps that habit comes from the time when she used to work at Carp's Department Store and then at Lemann's Department Store in Donaldsonville for many years. Sandra, our choir director had an interesting encounter with Dot several days ago before she passed. As Dot laid in bed suffering from much pain, Sandra prayed the rosary out loud. Dot tried her best to mouth out the words, "Our Father" and "Hail Mary," but she could barely pronounce the words. As Sandra was about to leave after finishing the rosary, she heard Dot clearly say without difficulty, "Sandra, is there anything I can do for you?" Sandra replied, "Dot, please pray to Jesus for me when you see Him."
Here is something that Our Lord taught us as He hung from the Cross on the Calvary. When we accept suffering without complaining, we glorify the Father and the Son. We proclaim the message of the Father and the Son when we are obedient to the Father, just as His Son was obedient through trials and sufferings. Just imagine, conforming our will to Our Heavenly Father's will in a time of suffering brings glory to the Almighty God.
St. Peter explains why this is true in his First Letter. " In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
May we also imitate Dot's love for the Heavenly Father which led her to accept suffering with joy.