Archive for March, 2020

Lavour Miles Vigil

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Rv 14:13; Jn 12: 23-28

Deacon Larry Brockman

“Their works accompany them.”  If ever there was a man whose works will accompany him, it was Lavour.

Lavour’s life was full of challenges- and he met them all with gusto.  A convert- Lavour chose his faith very carefully and lived it to the fullest.  A Veteran; a hard and dedicated worker who survived Asbestos exposure and fallout from A bombs;  a man who lived his Christian marriage for 65 years, including raising two wonderful daughters who are holding firm to the faith; and a man who suffered greatly from a fall earlier, and now his final bout with Cancer.   

Despite all of that, Lavour was a person who gave back over and over again.  Lavour was the head of the Respect Life Ministry at Holy Family for many years.  That’s where my wife Jane and I met Shirley and Lavour.  And in the last decade, despite failing health,  Lavour and Shirley continued to thirst for growth spiritually at a time in life when most folks are content to just relax.  I was honored that they attended so many of the Bible Studies I conducted.   

Truly, Lavour has found rest from his labors now, and no one can take that from him.  As Jesus implied in the Gospel, those who follow Him faithfully as Lavour did, will be glorified as Jesus was glorified.  For Lavour found the purpose for which he came into the world.  It was his Christian witness, and it was all of you- he was a dedicated Christian man who loved his family and gave them sterling Christian witness right up until the end.     

Shirley, I especially feel the pain of your loss, because I suffered the loss of my soulmate as well.  But it is only a temporary separation for all of us.  Some day, and it is soon in the perspective of eternity, all of us will be reunited with Lavour,  where all of us who serve the Father will be honored.   

Our Behavior Mirrors Our Generation’s Faith

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Wednesday of 3rd Week in Lent

Dt 4: 1, 5-9; Mt 5: 17-19

Deacon Larry Brockman

First, we hear from Moses that the Israeli Nation should live according to the law, not just to save themselves, but also so that their example would stand out.  In that way, other nations would see the wisdom and intelligence of their God and his law.   

Then, we hear Jesus admonish the people that He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.  But Jesus whole ministry was aimed at instilling the law in our hearts.  It was not so much a matter of meeting the letter of the law, but a matter of understanding and living the law with our hearts.  And he goes further by saying that those who obey the law will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven, while those who teach others to abandon the law will be least in the Kingdom of Heaven. And so Jesus is also emphasizing the example that the people will give to others.   

You know, it struck me that these are definitely words of wisdom for our time.  All of a sudden, our entire world has been immersed in an incredible challenge- this Corona Virus pandemic.  It is so challenging that many have said that they have never seen anything like it before.  It is even being compared to World War II in terms of its eventual global impact; because this current pandemic has the potential to change life for all of us in ways we never expected just weeks ago.  We simply don’t understand the economic and human implications of what amounts to a national, let alone a world-wide lockdown for an extensive period of time.  We don’t know how many of us will become infected and how many of us will die.   

And yet, the reality is that the mortality rate is one in 40 or 50; so, the vast majority of people who get it will survive.  Only history will establish how well we respond to this pandemic and the challenges that it is presenting us.   

When you come right down to it, God is the solution to the problem.  We are being called to live according to the natural law of God; and what is more, we are being called to live according to the moral law that God has given us as we navigate our way through this challenge.  And so, we are being called to love our neighbor as ourselves; and we are being called to do unto others as we would have them do to us.  

Now these are not just merely words to ponder, but rather, they are a call to action.  We are being called upon to live the Christian faith now more than at any time in the past.  Let me be specific.   

Christianity calls for us to act in harmony with everyone’s interests, not just in own self-interest and to be calm and in control of ourselves, and not act out of panic.  That being the case, let me pose this question:  Just how much Clorox and toilet paper can a family use in 4 weeks?  Yet all of these items have been totally depleted everywhere in this country.  We’ve all been to the store; we’ve all seen the pictures.  People are panicking; but even more to the point, they are acting out of selfishness.  And this is only the first week or so of the National crisis.   

We stand on the threshold of what might be a long, long period of time when we are called to live orderly, disciplined lives according to the law while we are pretty much on our own; while we are in isolation.  And while we are all worried that the supply chain will be affected, we simply cannot panic.  Rather, we need to pray and to trust that God and our fellow man will be there for us.  The government simply can’t police all of us; and all of us are affected.  That takes self-control and discipline; and adherence to a moral code that we believe in.  It’s the kind of self-control Moses was asking the Israelis to practice; and the kind of adherence to the spirit of the law which was the essence of Jesus mission.   

Nobody knows how this pandemic will play out over the next couple of months.  But God loves all of us, and He will be there for us at this critical time if we call on His name and trust in Him.  Meanwhile, we need to be there for each other; and we need to listen to what our leaders are asking us to do.  In other words, we need to be obedient to the law.   

Generations from now, will our witness to our faith and the law that flows from it validate how we behaved in this crisis?  Will we establish a legacy we can all be proud of?  Will this generation be great in the kingdom of heaven?  Or will we walk away from God and make it every man for himself?