This week the world lost another. One of the few remaining. It was to bound to happen, but not like this, not in this way. There are so few strong, humble ones remaining. It’s like the beginning of the end.
This week, we attended the funeral of one of the most strong, most humble men I think I have met. We attended a funeral of a man whose impact was so widely felt and for so many years, that it could not be held in the church where he had actively participated in the Eucharistic meal with his family for over 60 years.
It was an incredible tribute to a man who had impacted the material and spiritual lives of so many. With 6 priests from a range of parishes and expressions, our Regional bishop and even a message of condolence from the Archbishop of Melbourne, it was a significant celebration of a the life of this man.
But by far the most profound moment for me was right at the beginning. As the clergy processed up the aisle, to reward and around the coffin, then up the stairs to the stage altar. As I saw these men of God surround the Eucharistic table, it struck me right between the eyes: the world is poorer for losing this man.
Where have all the good men gone? Those that stand when a lady enters the room? The ones that know and respect the power of Prayer, the awesomeness of God? Those that model a life of high work ethic, of fairness in work and life?
Oh, they’re out there, we just can’t see them clearly. I know for me that there’s one of those men somewhere inside of me. A man that is not afraid to speak up for the small injustices of my world, a man that honours and respects the gift of sexuality in word and thought, a man that models to his sons and daughters the unconditional love a husband should have for his wife. A man that is fiercly God fearing and spiritual, ensuring his practice of his faith is a seven day a week one.
This funeral has challenged me. The good men have not gone anywhere, they are hidden or sleeping. And with such a great humble strong man departing this world for the next, I am challenged to stand up now. To be a man whose shoulders carry the responsibility of ensuring the values of strong family, honour, dignity, respect and fear of God are passed to the next generation, both inside and outside of my family unit.