That “Eureka!” moment of life – and death

The Lord Is My Chef Recipe for the Soul

Homily at the Funeral of Archimedes Lazaro (ICS ’97), 18 February 2020

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9 ><)))*> 0 <*(((>< Luke 7:11-17

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Soon afterward Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.”

Luke 7:11-16

Today, we are like at the city of Nain. Traffic is so heavy outside as many of us – family and friends, former classmates, colleagues at work from all over and neighbors – gather to pray and pay our last respects for Archie.

Celebrating a funeral Mass for a young person is always difficult for me. Like Jesus, I feel so sad for their parents. Normally, it is the children who bury their parents. It must be so painful for parents burying a son or a daughter. That is why in our gospel, Jesus was “moved with pity” with the widow of Nain.

But today, amid the pains and sorrows with the sudden death of Archie last week at a very young age, we actually celebrate life in Jesus Christ.

Photo by author of the hills of Galilee from the Walls of Jerusalem, May 2017.

Jesus comes to visit us always

Like in that scene at Nain, we remember and celebrate the life of Archie who had come to visit us even for a short time.

I love that part of the gospel where the people at Nain exclaimed at how “God has visited his people” when Jesus raised the dead young man.

Jesus continues to visit us everyday through one another like Archie.

Despite his many sins and imperfections, Archie made us experience Jesus Christ’s love and friendship, warmth and kindness, especially to his two sons, family, and friends.

Surely, Jesus must have visited Archie, too, during those dark moments of his life.

And the good news is, Archie visited Jesus so often especially these last two years when he started to pick up the pieces of his life.

Last time I saw Archie was last November when he came to celebrate Mass in our Parish. And I have heard how he had sought spiritual guidance from Fr. Carl, driving that far to Paco every month as he renewed his relationship with Christ, trying to follow anew the Lord he had served since elementary as a sacristan and later as a seminarian in our high school seminary.

It is Jesus who first finds us always

Photo by author at Mt. St. Paul Spirituality Center, Baguio, 04 February 2020.

We all know Archie’s tocayo is one of ancient Greece’s great scientist and inventor, Archimedes.

It is said that he discovered the principle of buoyancy – the “Archimedes’ principle” – while taking a bath.

When Archimedes sat onto his bathtub, he observed that “when a body is submerged in a fluid, it experiences an apparent loss in weight that is equal to the weight of fluid displaced by the immersed body.”

Archimedes was so ecstatic with his accidental discovery that he jumped naked from his bathtub out to the streets, shouting “eureka!” or “I have found” the solution to a problem he was trying to solve at that time.

Archimedes had not only enriched the field of mathematics and sciences with his discoveries but also the English language with the word “eureka” or “eureka moment”: when somebody discovers something very significant in business and economics, the sciences especially medicine, and practically in every field and subject.

Most especially in life.

Photo by author, Mt. St. Paul Spirituality Center, Baguio, 04 February 2020.

Archie had the same eureka moment in life: he had found Jesus Christ again that he went back to Mass and Confessions.

He had found meaning in life again after losing hope and directions.

Most of all, Archie had found love again.

Like his namesake of ancient Greece, Archie is now exclaiming “eureka” ecstatically into heaven – naked – with nothing but the love and mercy of Jesus Christ who first found him and brought him back to life a few years ago.

Today as we bring the remains of Archie into his final resting place, we thank God who never stops looking for us, finding us so that we can find him again and finally rest in him.

Today it is Jesus who is most ecstatic of all because he is the first to have found Archie and that is why, he had called him back to him, never to get lost again.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. In the time of their visitation they shall shine.

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-3, 7

Amen.

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