Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On the Death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy

While earthly hearts are heavy with sadness at this moment,
today there was a genuinely happy reunion of brothers in heaven.

Today Senator Edward Kennedy "closed his eyes to this world and opened them to the next" and with his passing from this world to eternal life an era comes to end. The subjective judgments are not ours to make. The mercy of God is greater than anything we can imagine with the limits of our human minds. Despite the issues on which we may have disagreed, Senator Kennedy did much good and remained true to his convictions. His life of public service is without question characterized by a genuine belief in public service and adherence to the notion that "to whom much has been given, of them much is expected." His human frailties reminded us that human beings are almost always imperfect and life is a process of trying to get it right just living day by day. Volumes will be written on the legacy of his public service chronicling his legislative and humanitarian accomplishments and critiquing the issues where his views and advocacy diverged from an author's or commentator's. Through it all, it is important to remember that a family mourns the death of a brother, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, uncle, substitute dad, and "Uncle Teddy." In that perhaps is his greatest legacy, a legacy he could only fulfill because his visible humanity kept him from the fate of his brothers Jack and Bobby. In their absence, caused by the violence of their premature deaths, Ted was able to be there for Jackie and Ethel and "Uncle Teddy" was able to be there for Caroline and John and for Joe, Bobby, David, Courtney, Michael, Kerry, Christopher, Matthew, and Douglas. He gave many a niece-daughter away, danced the bride-father dance, and with the unwavering strength of an immovable ship in a storm was there for his entire family in every moment of joy and sadness. Now the Creator has said, "Ted, come home. Well done, my good and faithful servant. As you did for the least of these, you did for me." And Ted Kennedy cleared his throat one final time and with unwavering resolve responded in the words of Saint Paul, "I have run the race; I have fought the good fight so to gain the prize of the kingdom of my Lord."

Thank you for your service to the people of the United States. Rest in peace, Edward M. Kennedy. May your soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace, amen. And may the heavenly reunion with all your loved ones, especially Jack and Bobby, be a genuine homecoming in the eternal Camelot!