Last week a beautiful young girl, Gianna Cirella, died tragically. She was laid to rest on Tuesday.
In his homily at her Funeral Mass, St. Kevin's Pastor, Father Bob Marciano stated: "The Lord did not and does not take life, a mysterious illness did that, but He only gives life, in fact, He hates sickness, and death as much as we do, that is the very reason that he sent us His son, to steer us through life's tragedies and turn what is bad into something good. Like those first disciples of the Divine Master, seeking answers to life's many mysteries, we come here, to this sacred place and to Him, the Lord of all life, to offer this Mass of Christian Burial, the highest prayer of the Church, and to assist Gianna with our prayers, on her final journey home to a loving God who first gave her to us. We come to stand beside Martha of the Gospel we just heard to say, "Yes, Lord we believe, that you are the Lord of Life."
Let us continue to pray for Gianna's grieving friends and family. Also let us pray those who grieve the loss of so many in the tragedy that took place in a Texas Church on Sunday. May the Lord of faith, hope and love be with them all and grant them consolation.
Let us also commend to God's mercy Gianna as well as the 26 victims in Texas. May we never lose hope or doubt our faith in Christ but rather may we always turn to our loving and merciful God in our time of need and pain and do what we are called to do as Christians, pray.
An Ancient Prayer for the Dead
God of the spirits and of all flesh, who have trampled death and annihilated the devil and given life to your world, may you yourself, O Lord, grant to the soul of your deceased servant N. rest in a place of light, a verdant place, a place of freshness, from where suffering, pain and cries are far removed. Do You, O good and compassionate God forgive every fault committed by him in word, work or thought because there is no man who lives and does not sin. You alone are without sin and your justice is justice throughout the ages and your word is truth. Since you, O Christ our God, are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your deceased servant N., we give you glory together with your un-begotten Father and your most holy, good and life-creating Spirit, now and always and forever and ever.
And as we console one another, as we keep faith with our beloved dead by praying daily for their eternal rest, perhaps these words of Saint Ignatius Loyola will help. Shortly before his death, Saint Ignatius wrote:
If we had our fatherland and our true peace in our sojourn here in this world, it would be a great loss to us when persons or things that gave us so much happiness are taken away. But as we are pilgrims on this earth, with our lasting city in the kingdom of heaven, we should not consider it a great loss when those whom we love depart a little before us, for we shall follow them before long to the place where Christ our Lord and Redeemer has prepared for us a most happy dwelling in his bliss.
May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.