My middle name is Irenaeus. In Greek it means "man of peace." I was named after my uncle, Fr. Tim O'Sullivan O.F.M. cap. (He restored the Old Mission in Santa Barbara). St. Irenaeus has been a hero if mine. His quotation: "The glory of God is the human person fully alive" is one of my all time favorite quotes. This is so easy to say, but becoming the lived reality is a whole other story. Actually this process of becoming alive is in reality each of our life's story. It is not only our life's story, it is actually, our gospel. A gospel to be reverenced while alive, and celebrated in death. In the funeral homily I always, well let's say more often than not, I encourage the families to have a written record of the life's journey whose life we have gathered to celebrate, in The Mass Of The Resurrection. This written record is to be placed next to the family Bible, with the inscription, "The Rest of the Story" (A salute to Paul Harvey). The title could also read, "The story continued." Each life IS the contemporary gospel written by today's human beings for the society of today which is the foundation of tomorrow's world. We must face that reality. Our lives are the gospel of today and the inspiration for the generations yet to come. May they be many. "O God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beauty-full, awe-full it is."
To paraphrase what I have read: "we must come to realize, a process, that this very body, with its many aches and pleasures is exactly what we need to be, wait for it, fully human, fully awake, and fully alive." What an exciting relevant gospel, under the guidance of The Holy Spirit, can be written. Here is an awe-full, wonder-full though as I write my gospel, with my every thought and action, do I have the future generations in mind, or am I just thinking of me, me and more me. In the I, I, I, there is no room for the living God. Our egocentric ego rules that out. E.G.O. means Ease, God, Out. And we are today living the reality of where there is so much talk about God, but there is not very much action that shows we are actually living The Good News. As they say "talk is cheap," there is a price to be paid for the action.