Mass of Christian Burial: Homily

Rev. Anthony J. Larry, OSFS
September 15, 2018

Anthony J. Larry was given by God on 10/14/39

Anthony J. Larry was given to God on 9/10/18

Tony was brought to the church many years ago to be baptized and to enjoy a new life, a new birth as a Christian and be a member of a faith community. And he is here today with his faith community, religious community, family and friends as he begins eternal life.

In the gospel passage from John which was just proclaimed, Jesus shows sensitivity to the fact that the disciples’ hearts are troubled. Death and grief are things that trouble our hearts.

There is nothing right, there is nothing good about the circumstances that have brought us together today.

One of the ironies of faith is that it is hardest to believe in God when we need him the most. Just before his death on the cross, Jesus said to his disciples, DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED. HAVE FAITH IN GOD AND FAITH IN ME.

The Lord understands that our hearts are troubled now as we struggle with the fact that Tony will not be with us as he once was. In response, Jesus assures the disciples that they know where he is going and the way to get there.

Thomas perhaps speaks for all of us as he freely admits that they don’t know where Jesus is going or the way to get there.

And they find it hard to let go of someone they love as we do as well.

There is often a fine line between holding on and letting go. Everything human about us says to hold on to Tony, but our faith tells us to let go. We want to hold on to what we know and what we know is that a good person who has touched our live is gone!

While he has gone to Father, his spirit continues to live within each of us.

If we were to ask people to do a sketch of Tony to see how he lives within each person. We would all have a different perspective of him. We could see him as a gentle, humble, funy, gracious patient, lover of life and many other aspects that create this sketch.

For some he has been seen his brother, uncle, friend, classmate and as an Oblate and son of Francis de Sales

I believe the areas that would contribute to this sketch would be his love of being an Oblate priest, his love and dedication to his family, his great love for liturgy and church environment and many more.

He was ever so faithful to his priestly obligations and was a good source of inspiration. Tony was a man of prayer who was not showy but a true gentle priest who enjoyed his priesthood and celebrated it well be it in the classroom or in a parish. He served as pastor at St. Anthony’s, St. John Neumann and St. Bernard’s. Wherever he was, Liturgy was his passion.

His family could contribute much to the sketch for his love for them was evident at all times.

When the sketch is completed there will be a composite of a person we all came to love and will miss him.

Jesus has shown him that he is the way and the truth and the life.

It is only in letting Tony go that we might be able to eventually let ourselves go when it is our time to pass the same way.

Until then, let us be grateful that our lives have been enriched by this creative, dedicated hardworking and loving person who has shown us the way, some truth and a lot of love.

Anthony J. Larry given by God 10/14/39

Anthony J. Larry given to God: 9/10/18

Anthony may you rest in peace and may your spirit live in those you have touched by your faith.

May you be singing with the choirs of angels for all eternity.

May God Be Blessed.