Friday, August 29, 2014

Hope in Tragedy

Once again the students lined the sidewalks leading into the church.

Most  were dressed up in suits or dresses, some in bright red band jackets.  The band instruments were inside, ready to be played at the appropriate time.

The "No Parking-Funeral" signs were not just in front of the church today. They lined the streets and were even in the parking lot of the park adjacent to the church.  There were going to be a lot of people at this funeral.

Within the past four years, our parish has lost a number of young people.

One year an incoming Freshman died of a brain tumor.

Another year two recent graduates died in a horrific car crash.

At all three of these funerals, the teens did the same thing. They lined the sidewalks to show support for the families mourning the loss of their children.

Today's funeral looks similar on the outside.  Another young life cut short.  Mourners in black, flowers galore, tissue boxes at the ready, tears, and hugs.

But a huge question mark hangs in the air this time.

This time the funeral is for a girl who committed suicide.  She would have been a senior this year.  She was beautiful but troubled.  She knew loss.  She knew pain.

Quite recently the suicide death of Robin Williams shook the world. The world asked, "why?"

Again, today, we wonder "why?"

Where do we turn at times like this, when there don't seem to be any answers?

The line of teens outside showed the way.  The way into the church. The way into the Sacraments that bring us comfort.  The way into the presence of the Lord, where we find all of our hope.

Christ Jesus, bring comfort to those who mourn; bring peace to those in pain.  As you promised, turn our sorrow into joy.  May we hope in You!  Amen.