The Third-Day Surprise — Funeral Homily for Greg Seidling, 60

By Fr. Victor Feltes

Greg often said, “If you don’t get up in the morning, you won’t get anything done in the morning.” And I imagine he would say you’d have to wake up pretty early before “the shank of the day” if you were going to successfully pull his leg. Earlier this year, one scheme which took three days to prepare gave him a great surprise.

His son Mike began calling him daily pretending he had begun renovating his house. As a self-employed contractor and Jack-of-all-trades, Greg was interested in his son’s project. But on the third day, Mike called his dad and said, “I cut a supporting wall! The roof is falling down! Come and help me!” “What were you doing!?” Greg exclaimed. (The great outdoorsman had swallowed the bait.)

Greg could fix anything, from picnic tables to chicken coops, and he sprang into action. He and Valeria started driving to Mike’s home and Greg got on the horn to call for others’ help – to bring their tools and add their muscle. It was Saturday, March 26th, 2022, Greg’s 60th birthday, and the people Greg was calling were already at his surprise party.

Greg had his suspicions. On the way, he asked his high school sweetheart, his wife of nearly forty years, if there was some kind party planned. Valeria did not lie to her husband, she denied having anything to do with planning a surprise party, and it was true – she hadn’t done any of the organizing. But her spouse finally knew what was up when they reached Mike’s house and saw the driveway full of cars.

Greg found Mike and said, “It doesn’t look like you need anymore help, you’ve got plenty of help here! … I don’t know if I should be upset that I fell for this or happy that my son was not as dumb as I thought.” Greg, always ready to find a reason to party, greeted his gathered family and friends and started enjoying his party with them.

The Gospel we heard today featured the Beatitudes of Jesus from his Sermon on the Mount. It is a list of character traits suited for the Kingdom of God. These traits belong to Jesus Christ, and he calls us to believe in him and become like him.

It took three days to prepare Greg’s great surprise, and it took three days for Jesus to accomplish his great plan. Christ suffered, died, and was buried, rested and rose again, and when he appeared to his disciples they were very surprised and overjoyed.

Like Greg, Jesus is also a skilled repairman and builder, through whom “we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.” So even in the face of death “we are courageous” and have peace in the thought of going “home to the Lord.” Death can seem like a disaster, like our walls are failing, our roof is falling, and all might be lost. “Come and help me, Lord!” And Jesus comes to us, because he loves us.

Like Valeria on Greg’s birthday, Christ the bridegroom, the Holy Spouse of his Holy Church, did not lie to us. In life, we won’t always know exactly what Jesus Christ is up to, but if you follow him as your Good Shepherd you will be joyfully welcomed at his house. There is a party prepared for us where Jesus would gather all of us together, with Greg and one another.

One Response to “The Third-Day Surprise — Funeral Homily for Greg Seidling, 60”

  1. pussywillowpress Says:

    Well done :)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: