On Saturday, Deacon John Cronin was privileged to preach the homily during the Funeral Mass for Jose Mauro, the long-beloved husband of Edie Mauro.Â We are grateful to Edie and her family for giving Deacon John this precious opportunity:
Joseâ€™s wife of 45 years â€“ our dear Edie â€“ selected todayâ€™s Scripture readings.
And she chose very well.
A dominant theme linking all of them is Joy.
Joy of the life God gives us,
And His loving deliverance of that life from death.
All the friends, family, and even the casual acquaintances of Jose
â€“ have helped me to know one thing for sure:
Jose is a man of great Joy.
[P A U S E]
A sure sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit is Joy.
[P A U S E]
And Jose had that in abundance.
Jose shared his joy with just about everyone he met.
Heâ€™d make you feel like the most important person in the room.
He gave of himself to others.
He just had to share his joy and loving kindness.
I was told â€“ simply â€“ that, â€œHeâ€™s a man that you love.â€
Whether he was teaching dance, or beautifying a home, or kicking around a soccer ball,
Or just making you smile,
He gave of himself in the smallest of encounters.
And he did all of this with style, and class!
This joyful giving of the self is what a disciple is called to do â€“
To be an image of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, at the Wedding at Cana, gave his disciples a great sign.
He transformed water into wine.
This marked a new beginning.
The beginning of Godâ€™s lavish love for us,
Meeting us in the face, and flesh, and blood of Â Jesus Christ.
Jose experienced a new beginning in the lavish love of Jesus at his baptism.
He experienced the love of Jesus in the Eucharist he received the Sunday before he died.
He experienced that love just a few weeks before he died:
dancing with Edie on a visit with his son, Marcus in California.
In Joseâ€™s death, weâ€™re gathered not only by the pain of our loss,
But by the great joy we have shared with him.
He has participated in the great attractive force of Jesus,
By this gift of his joy:
Drawing us together.
Jose is at the doorstep of yet another new beginning:
The great eternal Wedding Feast â€“ the heavenly banquet.
We pray that Jose completes the journey his baptism launched him on.
His journey home to the Fatherâ€™s loving embrace.
A journey made possible by Jesusâ€™ death and resurrection.
Jose died with Christ, so we pray he is raised with him,
And with all of us,
On the last day.
When the dust settles, and the busy-ness of the funeral passes,
When we say our goodbyes to one another,
And pick up our lives on our own journeys,
Then the real grief of the loss of Jose may really hit.
Cherish the memories of your last joyful encounter with him.
But trust that His joy can live on in you.
I pray that you remain confident in Jesusâ€™ power to deliver us from our pain.
I can only speak for myself when I say:
Iâ€™d rather endure great pain,
than to have never encountered the love and joy of Jesus.
And I am confident that the love and joy of Jesus
has radiated for us through the face of Jose.
May He now be greeted face-to-face by his Risen Lord.
Jesus, who feels every bit of our pain,
Jesus, who has defeated death,
Who will wipe away our tears.
Who delivers us home to eternal joy.
Where only love endures.
So we will cry in our loss.
But we stand to gain even greater things.
May we remain open.
Open to a lavish love.
Open to a superabundant joy.
To a life that was indelibly blessed with the gift of Jose.
To a life that hopes to meet him again at the Eternal Wedding Feast.