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Friday, May 15, 2015

05092015 Funeral Sermon for Dorothy Mae Savacool

Sermon Audio

May 9, 2015
Funeral for Dorothy Mae Savacool
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Heavenly Father, today we mourn the death of Your child Dorothy.  At her baptism You through Water and Word promised her entrance into eternal life.  Today You have made good on that promise.  Enable each of us today to hear Your Word and be comforted by the salve of the Gospel.  For Your Word shares the message of salvation and eternal life for all of mankind, but today for Dorothy and one day for each of us who gather here to say goodbye.  AMEN.

Imagine if you will the canvas of life that if hung on a wall, would include every event, every encounter and every episode of our lives.  Until today the canvas of Dorothy’s life was incomplete.  Like all the puzzles that Dorothy loved to put together, the picture wasn’t perfect, the job wasn’t done and the painting of her life wasn’t fully complete.  But today, the final piece of the puzzle is ready.
Today we gather to see the pictures and hear the stories of Dorothy’s meticulous nature, her tenacious appetite for winning and her stubbornness even in the face of logic.  But that was Dorothy.  Whether it was working on the porcelain dolls and insuring every step in the process was completed properly and perfectly.  From pouring the molds, firing the piece in the kiln, glazing them and re-firing the piece and making sure they were perfect.  To even their placement in her shop and apartment and the deeply engrained warning and even unspoken fear everyone understood simply stated “do not touch”.  Dorothy loved working with her hands and took great pride in creating works of beauty we have before us today.

Or her tenacious appetite for winning, whether it was her beloved Bronco’s and every player including Rick Upchurch, AKA “Upchuck”.  To her ability to pick up the spare in bowling even if it was a 7-10 split.  Or changing the game that was being played, whether Pinochle, Pitch and even Poker, because Dorothy didn’t like to lose.  Dorothy was unique.

But Dorothy’s stubbornness and unique nature was a gift from God that was formed in her mother’s womb and experienced by each of us.  There were days that we shook our head at her nature.  Whether it was when we continuously changed the toilet roll, after she had, and finally even super glued it.  But it was very clear, like a painting, what you saw was what you got.  Even when you would get the ‘silent treatment’, for an argument over cards.  Yet in the silence, we have today in our loss of Dorothy we can find solace.

Our solace can come not from who Dorothy was that we experienced, but Whose Dorothy was, God’s redeemed child of God.  The solace we can find comes none other than from God.  We can find solace, simply because of one image that I believe Dorothy as a good catholic emulated.  It is none other than the one image that daily I believe she did without fail, because of her belief in God and His promises to her of eternal life and salvation through Jesus Christ that she was baptized into by Water and Word.

When I was in seminary, we would have retreats at an Old Catholic monastery that overlooked Niagara Falls.  On one visit I bought something my family still has today in our bathroom.  Simply it is a glow in the dark set of hands.  It is an ordinary set of hands, but has for us today a divine and comforting explanation.  The hands are representative of the need and necessity we have of praying daily for the people we love.  And I firmly believe Dorothy prayed daily.  When she would hold her rosary and pray the Our Father, she would lift up in her prayers to her Lord and Savior the family God had given her in the firm belief that God’s gift of family was His gift to her.

Even though it took years for her to understand and even accept God’s gift of family.  As well the true understanding that people loved her and cared for and about her.  God through teaching Dorothy to pray the Our Father and the Rosary was melting her heart through the prayers and preparing her for today.  For what God was preparing was the fulfillment of the promise He made to her in her baptism, entrance into eternal life.  For it is God Who through His Son Jesus Christ forgave Dorothy of her sin, even her desire to have things like a poinsettia.  But God also today completes the canvas of her life with the final piece.

The final piece of the puzzle is now affixed in its perfect and proper place.  The dolls that she crafted with her own hands and cared for and loved find new homes with her grandchildren and are placed in places of honor, respect and possibly ‘no touch zones’.  And now the woman with the “Betty Boop” tattoo rests comfortably in her Lord and Saviors arms, praying with Him the prayer that He taught all of us.  And all of this only occurs, because of God’s love for Dorothy and for each of us, through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

You see the final piece that is affixed today into the tapestry of Dororthy’s life is a display, not of what might have or did hurt us, but of what God did for Dorothy on the Cross of Calvary.  It is the display of forgiveness found in and for all of us by Jesus Christ.  And today we celebrate this forgiveness, even for stubborn, long to hold a grudge, Dorothy, because she was baptized into Jesus Christ, life, His death on Calvary and His resurrection.  May we be comforted not only by the forgiveness all of us find in Jesus Christ, but especially in the final piece of Dorothy’s puzzle, the prayer He taught His disciples and that Dorothy now prays with Him in His arms remembering all of us gathered here to say goodbye.  AMEN.

Let’s join in that prayer that Jesus taught us.

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