Love and Grief. Side By Side.

I preached last night at work. Even though I don't use notes when I preach (that's right I don't use notes!) I usually write something up to practice from.  Here is the jist of what I said.

When I had my job interview here
I was all gussied up
In my business shoes
Wearing heals
Probably make up!

At the portion of my interview that was with the team
I was asked, “Share a story from your life that contributes to how you minister.”

I shared about my Dad.
I shared about his dying, my grieving and what kind of man he was.

I lost it.
There in my interview EBA, MN and the team are trying to grab tissues for me.

Yup. I’m the one who cried at my interview.
There I was loving my Dad- and who he made me- and grieving him.
Death and Love side by side.

These readings [The readings from mass are here] are all about love.
Moses and the Gospel remind us to keep the commandments and to live them…
They remind us
To love the lord our God with our heart
And our neighbor as ourselves.

This night also about loss and death.
Tonight, because in November Catholics honor those who have died
WE pray for students who died last year. We remember them.

And we also honor all those, outside of our community here, who have died in the past year.

]Tonight. Death and Love side by side.

Love and Grief are sitting right next to each other in this chapel.
For those of you who have never had a close loved one die grief is hard.
It is all consuming.
It is hard to get out of bed
Hard to deal with everyone who knows what you are going through.
Everyone whose life is functioning "normally"
Everyone who gives you "sad face."

It is hard because the person you LOVE (not past tense) is not there to love you back.
Grieving is LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR when your neighbor is dead.
Hard Hard hard work.
Some days you want to run from it.
Some days you want to ignore it.
Some days you laugh and are suprised at your own joy.

If you are grieving-
You are doing it.

You are getting out of bed.
Managing to eat.
Managing even to get to mass.
And managing to deal with your feelings.

However you are doing it. Congrats.
You have loved your neighbor well.

And for those of you (and I hope it is most of you) who have not experienced the loss of a close loved one,
That’s okay.

You see, one of the beautiful things in these readings is that when the scribe says (basically) so what your saying is that you should , “love the lord your god with your heart mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus says, “You are not far from the kingdom.”

Meaning, you are not far from God at all.
So you see, to be in the kingdom of God is to love our neighbor.
So if you neighbor is the one who is grieving you don’t have to be superstar.
You just have to try to love.
You have to move into the awkwardness
You have to move towards those who are grieving.
You have to say, “I’m sorry.” or “let me know if you need anything.”

You do not have to rescue there grief- you can’t
You do not have to be a superstar- you aren’t
You just have to try to love them.

This is true weather our neighbor is grieving, or homeless, or a kid at bailey gatzert, or our roommates, or the psafe officer or whatever.

We just have to try to lovu.

And you, again who are grieving.
You are already close the the kingdom.
God is right next to you. Weather you feel her or not.
She is with you. and you grief of the one you love- is love.


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