This short homily was given by Fr. Raphael Biernacki of blessed memory, over the loss of a child who went to the open arms of our Lord during delivery. It was adapted and read during our parish’s annual memorial service for all unborn infants on Sanctity of Life Sunday.
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
We read in the hymns of the Church:
“O King of all Men, in that Thou hast sent from on high, and has taken these blessed children, like pure little birds, to their heavenly nest. Thou hast saved these souls from snares of many kinds O Lord, and hast united them with the spirits of the righteous, who enjoy the delights of Thy Kingdom.
The experience of life, and the mystery of death, are awesome and painfully overpowering events to deal with individually. When we as human beings have to deal with them in brief succession, they leave us numbed beyond natural grief. Expectant joy is turned into tear filled sorrow, and words cease to make sense, much less to comfort and to heal. The fragility of life becomes translated into the fragility of our emotions, and for an instant, we are incapable of consolation.
Our iron clad faith in God seems to be based for a moment on a foundation of sand…and we ask that all important question: “Why?” Why have these pure little birds been taken from us, even before their second birth in the water and the spirit. Our experience brings us to a God whose ways are not our ways, whose love is beyond all love, whose wisdom is beyond all wisdom, and whose mercy is beyond all mercy. We truly experience the weakness of our human nature before a God, whose knowledge is beyond all comprehension.
Our questions will remain unanswered in this life, demanding an even firmer faith in the Lord of heaven and earth. A faith that transforms our lives and is the stitch that heals the womb of grief. A faith that allows these pure little birds a free and unencumbered flight to the Creator of all. A faith that perceives death not as an end, but a new beginning…seeing our little ones as members of the divine choirs of holy children, making glad and rejoicing free from the corruption of sin.
In faith, we ask our Lord to receive the souls of these pure little ones…He who said: “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”