Funeral Lectionary: 2 Timothy 1:9-10

I had another recent funeral in which the family went off the page (but stayed in the Book) to find a reading that they felt was suitable for a father’s funeral.

Some Catholic clergy and liturgists get the yips on things like pouring over one or the other Testaments to find something for a Mass. I figure there ar emore plusses than minuses. One, it’s better than Kahlil Gibran, Emily Dickinson, or Richard Rohr. Two, it shows a willingness to delve into the Scriptures, sometimes more deeply than the clergy and bishops that assembled the Roman Rite. And three, if it engages the wider family and parish, so much the better.

After a brief introduction to his second letter to Timothy, Saint Paul offers a timely reminder. In the context of a funeral, apt words for the mourners, to be holy. Then a reminder that our Savior has vanquished final death:

(God) saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us
in Christ Jesus before time began,
but now made manifest
through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,
who destroyed death
and brought life and immortality to light
through the gospel.

This is only part of a sentence in which the mentor reminds his disciple that we don’t earn salvation, that our good works are part of Divine Grace, and that all is going according to the Plan. In the context of a funeral, it struck me as an anti-eulogy. While I don’t get as excited about eulogies as some of my colleagues, I do think this is a good counterweight to the “good news” about someone’s life.

What do you think?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

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