2 May 2008
Homily by Very Rev Richard Hayes PP Cloughbawn, at the Flood family Funeral Mass
Yes, it is a terrible tragedy but God is much greater for if we can care, love,
and try to comfort – how much more does our heavenly Father do so.”
In the first reading today, we are told that the writer is bereft of peace and that he has forgotten happiness because of the difficulties and trials in life. Some things are only understood in the time and the mind of God and this awful tragedy here before us today is one of them. The writer continues to say that he is bowed down by his sorrows.
We all come across things in life that are sad – very sad – but this is one which is almost impossible to comprehend. This is not the day or the place for speculation, but as the writer found hope so we too can find hope in the steadfast love of the Lord because His mercies come to no end.
“The Lord will not reject forever. Come to me all who are burdened and I will give you hope” we are told in Matthew’s Gospel. This hope and love has been manifested through the outpouring generosity of the local community this past week, the helping hand, the word of comfort and consolation, the community gathered in prayer at the homes of both the Kehoe and Flood families and the silence of understanding and empathy.
What is God asking of us today? We are asked to pray for the bereaved families as they mourn the sad passing of Diarmuid, Lorraine, Mark and Julie. In the first letter of Peter he tells us that we should have unity of spirit, sympathy and love for one another, we should have a tender heart, a humble mind, to repay with a blessing and to cast all our anxieties on the God of love because He does care for us.
We also keep in mind that this is a very painful tragedy that involves the loss of life of small children: Mark and Julie; and their young parents: Diarmuid and Lorraine. Let us be sensitive and caring to the bereaved families as we consider the rawness of their great loss, their vulnerability, their darkness and their pain.
We don’t know why tragedies such as these happen. They are not the will of God. Now we feel lost, helpless and frightened. Most likely we are angry and we want to blame somebody but this is not the time to reduce the God of Jesus to our own size. Yes, it is a terrible tragedy but God is much greater for if we can care, love, and try to comfort – how much more does our heavenly Father do so.
Our Risen Lord is with us at this moment. His light shines on us who are in darkness and in the shadow of death. St Paul says, “that nothing, neither suffering, nor tragedy, nor death can separate us from the love of God which we have seen in Christ.” So we do not throw up our hands in confusion, but rather ask Jesus to lead us and to cast our pain and sorrow onto the arms of Mary, His mother, who stood at the foot of the cross.
We can call on Mary, the Mother of Mercy, our hope, and direct to her our sighs, our mourning and our weeping in this valley of tears as we commend to God the souls of Diarmuid, Lorraine, Mark and Julie.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them and may they rest in peace. Amen
Director of Communications for the Diocese of Ferns: Fr John Carroll 087-9898424 and office 053 9122177
Director of the Catholic Communications Office: Martin Long 086 1727678 and office 01 5053017