It was therefore not surprising that by
11 AM that Sunday the Church was so full, that many people had to stand
at the back of the Church. That was certainly unusual. It had been a very
long time since the little church had been full on a regular Sunday. Many
of the parishioners who had shown up for the “funeral” had
not seen the inside of the church for years. Even more unusual though,
was the dark wooden coffin laid out in front of the altar.
The Parish priest spoke briefly: “I
doubt that it is possible to resurrect this parish and to give it new
life. However, since we are all here, I would like to try one last time.
I would like all of you to form a single line to file by the coffin. Take
a good last look at the deceased as you pass by the coffin. When you have
seen the body, leave the church by the sacristy door. Those who wish to
do so can come back in by the front doors for Mass.”
The priest opened the coffin. Everyone
was curious to find out the identity of the mysterious deceased. The procession
started. Each parishioner in turn passed in front of the coffin and stopped
to look inside. Most stayed a few seconds contemplating what was inside.
All left very quietly and a bit taken aback by what they had seen, for
at the bottom of the coffin a mirror lay reflecting their image.
“Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's
sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built
into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2: 4-5
This text is a translation/adaptation
of an article published in the
Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe.
Used with permission.