Thursday, January 16, 2014

Memorial of Life Homily - Ray Campbell

Revelation 14:13
Romans 6:3-9
John 14:1-6
What’s the measure of a good life? 
I believe a good life is measured by the people we touch and the love we share in this life.  And it lasts for all eternity.
Jesus showed us all by example how to live a life deserving of the resurrection reality.
Ray Campbell shared the love Christ modeled with his family and friends throughout his lifetime.  It’s this love that now propels him to his new heavenly home.  It’s the only luggage he brings as he moves in.
Ray’s taken up residence in the Father’s house and now dwells there for all eternity with his wife Ruby and son Dick.
            But from what I know about Ray, his entrepreneurial gift is now blessing heaven and I’m sure it will keep him busy until the day he welcomes us all home, too.
            During his lifetime, Ray’s entrepreneurial talents blessed our region with such notable gems as Campbell’s Drive-In and Ray’s Drive-In. Ray created wonderful gathering places for friends and families to break bread together.
I think our first reading from Revelation reflected nicely the resurrection reality of Ray’s life, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord… let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.”
            Ray was a member of the greatest generation, living a lifestyle forged by the hard times of the Great Depression. 
Pope Francis is famous for his frugal lifestyle.         
Ray was frugal, too. I mean very frugal. There was no better coupon-clipping, bargain-hunting person in all of Snohomish County.  Ray didn’t waste a thing 
I need you all to know that the saltine crackers found at today’s reception are from the ample supply in Ray’s cupboard.  No joke.
This frugality allowed him to retire with his beloved wife Ruby when Ray was in his late 40s. 
            Even with all of his success, Ray lived a Christ-filled life, always looking out for others and sharing what he had with others. 
He was well known for his time at the St. Mary’s Parish food bank in Marysville.  In fact, Ray and his family are encouraging all of us to donate to our local food banks as a way of remembering him.
Ray and his family are famous in our parish community for their annual donation of 50-pounds of grease for Sausage Fest every year.   

In his heart, Ray clearly understood the meaning of today’s Gospel.
When Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me,” Ray knew just what Christ meant.
            For us who are left behind, we must go on in this life without Ray.  But we are given a promise that his death, and our own future death, will not be the end, but a new beginning to everlasting life.  This is the promise Jesus makes to all of us who believe in Him.  This is the resurrection reality.
            Christ made that promise at our Baptism. 
And Christ makes that promise again today right here in this Church where Ray’s own children were baptized many moons ago.
As we heard from Romans in our second reading, We were indeed buried with (Jesus) through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.
Ray was preparing for that day, as should we all, by living a good life, filled with a love of Christ and a love of others, and is now being given his reward of the Kingdom of heaven.
That’s living a life deserving of the resurrection reality.
One day, we look forward to seeing Ray again.  And he will greet each and every one of us, and welcome us home to the Father’s house when our time on earth is over.
That’s our hope.  That’s what sustains us now and forever.

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