Sometimes the best catechetical lessons come unexpectedly, like grace itself. The homily of the funeral Mass of Vice President Biden’s son, Beau, is now available on YouTube. The homily was preached by whom I assume to be the Bidens’ Catholic pastor, Father Donovan.
Father Donovan was not blessed with rhetorical flourish, but rather, with a good pastor’s heart. His own grief was honest and evident, he has a genuine love of his parishioners, and he never lost sight of his homiletic responsibility to bring the sad solemnity of the moment into the full light of Scriptural faith. He understood, like Lincoln at Gettysburg, that brevity brings extraordinary focus. This homily was delivered in about nine minutes, but its power was all the more enhanced because of that.
On a pastoral note, Catholics will forgive almost any shortcoming of their local parish if their priest and ministers are there for them in times of death.