I finally had a chance to listen to Fr. Paul Scalia's homily for his father's funeral Mass and it made my heart full. After giving thanks to the people for coming he began with this:
We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more. A man loved by many, scorned by others. A man known for great controversy, and for great compassion.
Even I was surprised (only momentarily) by the next sentence.
That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth. It is He Whom we proclaim: Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified, buried, risen, seated at the right hand of the Father. It is because of Him, because of His life, death and resurrection that we do not mourn as those who have no hope, but in confidence we commend Antonin Scalia to the mercy of God.
But of course, it is for Jesus that we come to Mass -- to worship, to praise, to give thanks, to petition, to offer ourselves. We come to offer our prayers for the dead at a funeral Mass. The stories and pastoral care of the family left behind is for another time. Thank you, Father Scalia for reminding us what this is all about. I do believe your father would be pleased. God bless you!
I have to confess that over the past few days I've learned more about Justice Antonin Scalia than while he was alive. I pray God will send us more men like him. Requiem aeternam, Antonin.