posted Dec 9, 2015, 9:47 PM by St. Kevin Religious Education   [ updated Dec 9, 2015, 9:55 PM ]
I'm sure that many people know that life is not an easy road.  There are always bumps along the way.  Everyone has their fair share of bumps, and sometimes we get weighed down by the challenges we face.  Sometimes, we wonder why we face these challenges and why they have been placed in our midst.

This is no doubt applicable to one of our families who, unfortunately, suffered the loss of their young daughter as she died over the Thanksgiving break.  There is nothing I can conceive to be more painful for a parent than to lose their own daughter, their own child that they have cared for and raised throughout that child's short life.  The loss of a child is something that may never truly go away from the mind of a parent. 

Upon looking back at what took place, it makes me wonder, why?  Why did this have to happen to such a beautiful, loving girl who had barely lived her life in this world?  Why did this have to occur to this family?  And I'm sure many of us are saddened by the fact that this family will never see this young girl again here in this world: never see her grow up, never see what she would have done when she got older, never see what accomplishments she would have achieved. 

Yet, no matter how short her earthly life was here on earth, when you think about, she did accomplish something.  She accomplished bringing happiness, joy, and love to her family and everyone she met.  Isn't this something that what we are all called to do?  To help make the world a better place and to spread the love of Christ to everyone we meet?

And if we have faith, we should not think of this as a sad moment, but a moment to rejoice.  No doubt the pain will not go away instantly.  And no doubt there will be feelings of sadness over the fact that we will no longer see her physically.  But we also have to realize that now, she is in a better place.  Yes, the body may be dead, but the soul lives on up above.  In fact, she is in a better position than we all are now!  Imagine, being there in the presence of God, of Jesus, of Mary, of all the saints and angels!  No more pain, no more suffering, no more turmoil, just peace, love, and tranquility.  I'm sure that it is something that we all strive for, and this young girl has already reached it.  And now that she is that much closer to our Lord, we can now ask her to intercede for us here on earth.  She is now an angel watching over us.

And in reality, she is still with us in our midst!  As I told the kids this week, we know that Jesus is our friend, right?  Yet, do we see him?  No.  But even though we can't see him, we know that he is with us, walking with us on our journey of faith.  It's the same thing with Sophia, or with any other family member that has died.  Even though we cannot see her anymore (her body is gone), she is still with us in spirit.  She continues to live in the hearts of those who welcome her in.  We have the images of her that will help us to form lasting memories. 

Most importantly, we have the love, mercy, and grace of God.  Nothing can bring us true peace other than the grace of God!  It is Christ who accompanies us and gives us the strength to carry on and continue to live our life as He will it.  In addition, we have the support of all those that love and care for us: our families, our friends, our communities of faith who join in solidarity with what the family is going through.  This support helps us to realize that we are never alone, that we have the love of Christ with us, and the support of all who care for us.

Please continue to pray for the Vazquez family as they continue the process of mourning and healing.  It is indeed a challenging road ahead.  But let us always remember that Christ is always by our side, and all we need to do is call out to Him, as he said, "Come to me all you who labor and are burned, and I will give you rest."  Let us join in solidarity as we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Heaven has gained an angel,

and her name is