Yesterday, I celebrated the funeral of a friend of mine from Church. It was a very sad day for my parish and town community saying goodbye to a man who touched so many lives and whose lives were better because they knew Steve.
Steve Daly was honestly, one of the kindest people I’ve ever known. Many years ago on Holy Thursday, Steve and I sang a Michael Card duet, The Basin and the Towel. Steve fell in love with Michael’s music to the point of inviting him to perform a concert at our parish. A smile always adorned his face. Joy, warmth, and charity accompanied his every step. Every greeting and conversation with Steve was an encounter with the love of Jesus. He walked the talk. A man of faith, music, theater, sport, and family, he embraced life to the fullest.
He died very unexpectedly at a very young 61 from a motorcycle accident, a sport that he had only taken up two weeks before. What a tragic way to go for him and for his family, but that was Steve – he embraced life, enjoying the beauty of New England riding along with his best friend tasting something new that life has to offer. Unfortunately, something went very, very wrong.
None of us knows the day or the hour, and death comes like a thief in the night. Yet, we live like this fact lies distant and far away from any possibility of reality in our daily life. But the fact is, we do not know. But… if we did, just imagine… if we lived each day like it would be our last. What a different world it would be!
Why can’t we do that anyway?
The daily mass readings over the past few weeks have been eschatological, dealing with the end times. The readings get more and more serious and foreboding with each passing day: the destruction of the temple and the Maccabean revolt; Daniel’s writing on the wall; and Jesus’ words in today’s gospel, “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues, and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.” (Jn 21:12)
Steve’s life and death ask us as we end the liturgical year and approach the holy season of Advent.
“Are you ready?”
Steve Daly, pray for us! Anne