It is with the deepest sorrow that we must be the bearers of such sad news. Leonardo James Matthews, a precious preschooler, son of Chris and Ana-Paula, Laura’s baby brother, was taken from us, taken much too soon…
Death is an unwelcome visitor, but it always comes. It never misses its appointments. And when it comes knocking on our door, we can’t simply ignore it; we must face it. Death not only comes like a thief, but it is a thief – it steals from us everybody and everything that matters to us in this life. But does death mean the end? Isn’t there anything after death? Isn’t there more to life than our present life on earth?
In the gospel of John, Jesus assured Martha when she was confronted with the death of her brother Lazarus, “I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in me, even though he dies, will live.” These consoling words of Christ ring true, and they offer us hope, comfort and assurance that there is more to life than our life on earth; there is a world beyond this world.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI observed, “Death represents a wall, as it were, which prevents us from seeing beyond it; yet our hearts reach out beyond this wall and even though we cannot understand what it conceals, we nevertheless think about it and imagine it, expressing with symbols our desire for eternity.” Yes, we desire eternity. We would like to have an uninterrupted life of eternal happiness here on earth, but unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We must all experience the reality of death in order to enter the eternal life God has prepared for us.
A few years ago I was driving a long distance andI took a short break to fill the gas tank and stretch my legs. Just then I spotted a tiny plant in the ground. What was so unusual about this was that the tiny and fragile plant was growing out of asphalt. I remember thinking, “How could a tiny and fragile thing grow by breaking through something much stronger than itself?” But if you think about it, it actually wasn’t the plant but the power of life that broke through the asphalt. Life cannot be buried alive and remain buried, because life is stronger than death. By dying on the cross for us, Jesus conquered sin and death and opened the gates of heaven for us. Life is stronger than death! We do not have to be buried under the weight of our sins, because Christ took our sins onto Himself. He took away our sins! So, even if we die, we will live, and we will not only live, but we will live with God and like God, eternally.
Though we are separated from our loved ones in this life, we are comforted by the fact that this is only a temporary separation. Leo, like all the faithful departed marked with the sign of our faith, is in the hands of our Loving God, Who loves us, Who wants to be with us at all costs!
The Vigil will be held at the Colaricci Daudlin Tauro Funeral Home located at 211 McNaughton Rd E, in Maple, on Friday, January 20th between 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The Funeral Mass will be at St. David’s Parish, 2601 Major MacKenzie Dr W, at 10:00 a.m.
We ask that you please keep the Matthews Family in your prayers during this most difficult time.