Ever Wonder
Off The Wall, March 5, 2010

Thinking back, I really can’t tell you how many funerals I have sung as a member of the Resurrection Choir of Holy Family Church. In the short time I did so, I can only approximate maybe close to 30 times at best.

But for me, a funeral was more than an opportunity to share my God-given talents by participating with the others. It was a special time to not only sing, but also listen intently to what the priest was conveying in the Mass and meditating on his thoughts from his eulogy as well.

So there I sat, grasping my hymnal and listening to what was said - kind words and humorous stories about an elderly parishioner who had passed on. The priest would tell of an incident and laugh, and the others listening would respond likewise. Then he would tell another little story and the same outcome would result. It was all very touching.

Then that spark ignited my brain waves. I began to wonder what a priest would be saying about me after I died. Gee, I could only hope it was as good as this eulogy.

Have you ever given it some thought just what might be said when your day arrives? Aren’t you hoping something good will be said about you? After all, if you haven’t gotten your fifteen minutes of fame while alive, hopefully, you will get it while “boxed” before the altar during what I may call your last hurrah.

Now, I know what you are thinking. “C’mon Volkmann, I didn’t want to read a story today on death. After all, nobody wants to think of this kind of stuff.” I realize that. But, it’s not really the end. You are advancing onto another stage of life. That should really be exciting when you think of it.

Many times when I used to watch baseball games, I used to see people displaying signs that read, “John 3:16.” I’m sure many people who never looked up the scripture passage  in the Holy Bible ever gave thought to what was said. For those whom may not be acquainted with this, it states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

So, for believers, what is happening here? People are moving on spiritually with a life that is unending, forever and ever and ever and ever. Infinite life. How great is that?

Is it then really morbid to find ourselves wheeled up the aisle in a casket, draped by a cloth and positioned before a large candle in front of the altar?

Flipping back to the gathering at the church and the pastor sharing memories of your life – could the following remarks be made? “That Charles wasn’t much of a churchgoer, didn’t like some of the rules set forth by the Vatican, but he sure loved his television.” “Wilson was addicted to video games, playing them all day Sunday. He told me he had to work and couldn’t make it to church, but recently I found out the truth.” Or, “Danny was very shy. Even as he got older, he had that characteristic. But through it all, he loved the Lord with all his heart and attended Mass regularly.” Wouldn’t you want to be thought of as Danny was? I think you know the answer to that already.

Hey folks! Listen up! We’ve got work to do!!! Now, I can’t promise you anything, but if you want your pastor or priest to say a few good maybe humorous things about you, it is important to do God’s work. Do so as Jesus Christ taught us to do, and always bear a smile on your face. Now, I’ll admit, the latter isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

There are people out there that need you in so many ways. Maybe they are homebound and would like regular visitations. You could join your choir or ours, and not only share your voice with which God blessed you, but your smile as well. He asks that we make a joyful noise unto Him. Of course, we choir members like harmony, but Scripture says noise, so who are we to argue against God’s Word anyway? And last, we are called to help those in need or less fortunate than us. The Red Cross is always in need of blood. The homeless and those hungry are begging for your help. Cheerfully giving with a smile will go a long way, and even be recalled and acknowledged for the way you lit up people’s lives.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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