Sunday, March 30, 2014

22 March 2014 -- In Obsequiis Arlene Dolan

Burial:  Arlene Rose Dolan  — 22 March 2014
Trinity, Iowa City – 10:00 am

Lamentations 3:22-26,31-33  |  Psalm 139  |   Corinthians 13:1-13  | Psalm 23  |  John 6:37-40

Just a brief reflection on the Scriptures this morning:

St. Paul reminds us, in a passage that I assume is familiar to most of us, that “faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”  What Paul is talking about is not sentiment or warm fuzzy feelings. He’s talking about how we relate, how we choose to relate, to other people, to the world, and to God.  We often slip into the notion that the measure of our lives is how successful we are, how bright we are, how religious we are (whatever we mean by that).  But in the end all these things pass away.  What counts in the end is love.  As Jesus himself commanded us, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”  As we heard in the Gospel reading this morning:  “This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life.”  “Eternal life” is not just about then or someday.  It develops and endures into then, but it begins now.  And seeing the Son and believing in him is not about having theological opinions about him, but trusting in him as the source and guide for your lives.  Jesus did not say “Join my club.”  He said, “Follow me.  Follow me into God’s Kingdom.  Now.”

I’ve known Arlene for a long time, but I must confess, not well.  That’s my loss.  We were fellow parishioners here at Trinity, and although we saw and greeted each other warmly Sunday by Sunday, I was and am an assisting priest here at Trinity, but I was not her pastor.  But she was always a bright spot on Sunday mornings, cheerful and smiling.  She radiated her love for her family and her friends.  We remember how full of joy and excitement she was when Katelyn was born!  Arlene “got it.”  And even in our grief for ourselves, we may be confident that she has eternal life, and the Lord will raise her up at the last day.

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