Funeral Homily at the burial of the late Mrs Grace Nechi Abonyi, 12.04.2018
Your Excellency Most Rev…. Catholic Bishop of Bomadi
Your Excellency, Most Rev. A.O Gbuji, Bishop Emeritus of Enugu Diocese
Very Rev Fr Victor Onwukeme, msp, Superior General of the MSP,
All Priests, Religious here present, Ndi Igwe, Ndi Nze na Ozo
Knights and Lady Auxilliaries,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Otito diri Jesu!
Onwu abughi ihe mbibi nye ndi kwerekwe Phil 1: 21 “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”
We have gathered to do one of the 7 Corporal works of mercy CCC 2447
- To feed the hungry.
- To give water to the thirsty.
- To clothe the naked.
- To shelter the homeless.
- To visit the sick.
- To visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive.
- To bury the dead.
We have gathered to bury a woman of great faith: Mrs Grac Nechi Abonyi. Our ever smiling, meek, humble, generous and prayerful mother. I call her Mama Chaplet. She was always praying for the whole world. Even at her death bed she was praying and was very happy to be prayed for. Today we have come to pray for her.
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God. These words were taken from (Wisdom 3:16 which we have just listened to in the first reason.
THEME: THE POWER OF VIRTUOUS LIVING: Ike di n´ibu onye ezi omume
- The facticity of death and dying.
Williams Shakespeare said the world is a stage and we are all actors. Each performs his role and leaves the stage. Our people say that Uwa bu ahia… Just imagine what happens daily at the market place. We gather at different times and leave at different times… For Martin Heideggar, ”Once a man is born, he is old enough to die.
–Why do people cry when some people die and others rejoice when some others die? Abacha … Tobe Dinwenu mkpurobi nkem…
Pope Francis – spending time reflecting on your own death can be a freeing experience, and one that can even help us to become better people. St. Louis of France employed a servant to remind him twice a day that he must die. Francis: Because we are all men and women on a journey in finite time, he continued, it is a good idea to pray to God asking for a good sense of time, so that we are not “imprisoned” by the present moment. He also recommended repeating to yourself the phrase: “I am not the master of time.” Remembering that we are all on the path to death “will make us treat everyone well.” Remembering that we will inevitably die can help us live the present moment better, he noted, “illuminating with the fact of death the decisions that I must make every day.”
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God. THEME: THE POWER OF VIRTUOUS LIVING. We may call it the power of being INNOCENT. We remember the story of Sussana, Daniel ch 13 She was accused of adultery. When she was trapped she said: “Whatever I do, I am trapped. If I give in to your desire, it will be death for me. If I refuse, I shall not escape your persecution. I would rather be persecuted than sin in the eyes of the Lord” Daniel 13:22.
We are using virtuous and Innocence synonymously. Children are innocent and therefore virtuous. Virtues are gifts from God that lead us back to him. Catholic theology reminds us of the three Theological virtues of faith, hope and Love and the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.
What does the Bible tell us about the virtuous?
Psalm 34:19 – Many are the trials of the just man but from them all, the Lord will rescue him. Proverb 11:3 – Honesty illumines the path of the upright but the corrupt are confounded by their own evil. V:5 The virtuous man´s integrity smoothes his way while the wicked man falls by his own evil plan.
Ruth 1: 1-4; Joseph Matt. 1:18-25
The death of this virtuous woman challenges us to live uprightly. She suffered especially the death of her loved ones but never stopped praying. She was an example of a virtuous Christian. She kept to her Christian faith. Today, Idodo has become the home of Egwu agwara ogwa in matters of Christian faith. Ibu amuma… esem okwu, igwo ogwu etc.
Christian remember that you shall one day die and give account of your life to God. For Scripture says: It is appointed that human beings die once and after death comes judgment Heb. 9:27