This beginning of November combines many poignant things – celebrating the saints who have gone before us, many of whom lost their lives because of their faith, and commemorating the lives and passing of people closer to us, loved ones, people who have been important in our lives. And, once again, it is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month – especially touching for me, as my father, who passed away recently, had this disease.
But juxtaposed with this are words from Pope Francis I, who was just installed as pope this year. During his Easter messages, he repeatedly emphasized a verse from Luke’s gospel in the passage about the Resurrection of Jesus: When the women arrived at the tomb, they did not find Jesus, as they had been expecting. Two men appeared and said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?” (Luke 24:4).
Indeed, as we consider the people who have blazed trails for us, gone before us in faith, and influenced our lives, we are not doing ourselves, our faith, or this life justice if we stop there, become weighed down by grief and melancholy. No, we move ahead and take on the great joy and responsibility of seeking Jesus among the living, of striving to emulate the excellence of the saints, of selecting the best of those we know who are no long with us and trying to be better each day, discovering new wonders and ways of God as we do.
Yes, we among the living – live!
Moving into this month of raising awareness and education about Alzheimer’s disease, I’m going to focus especially on actions, activities, and encouragement for people who are living now with ALZ, or those who are caregivers. There are many new programs, support and respite opportunities, and other things that can be done while the ALZ community “waits for the cure.” It is much like remembering the past while moving ahead for the better.
And, it fits.
sings for the day,