In 28 years of the priesthood, I have never had a funeral Mass for a baby as young as Baby Moses. This is a first for me. As Christians, we don’t see death as the end, but the beginning of life eternal. That is why, at Holy Name of Mary, we never say our brother Baby Moses has died. Our brother was born into life eternal. It is one thing to die; it is another to be born into life eternal.
That is why when our Lord’s disciples were so sad to learn that their Lord would be crucified and die, he told them, “Do not let your heart be troubled. Have faith in God; have faith also in me, because in my father’s house I am going to prepare a place for you, so that where I am, you also may be.”
Our baby brother Moses is now claiming one of those places that our Lord has long prepared for him.
At the beginning of the Mass for a baby, the prayers are pretty much the same as the Canonization Rite prayer – the prayers we pray when a holy person is being canonized a saint, a person we believe to be with God, without a doubt. We heard: “Most compassionate God, grant that one day we may inherit eternal life with Baby Moses, who by the grace of baptism, you have adopted as your own child and who we believe is dwelling even now in your kingdom.”
We believe even now Baby Moses is dwelling in God’s kingdom. In today’s second reading, which is taken from the first letter of St. John, the apostle said, “We are God’s children now, and what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
Baby Moses has this privilege that we don’t have yet – to see God as he is. We can see him with the eyes of our faith, but Baby Moses can see God, live, in person.
Now I would like to talk to the Freeman family.
I would like to thank you on behalf of our Christian family. When I visited Baby Moses, I was so touched by how you took care of him. You had the privilege to be with him for a month – much longer than expected – because of the love you showered him with. The whole time I visited, one of you was holding him in your loving arms. He felt the love and that was a big factor why he stayed and held on longer.
As I said, in the eyes of our faith, he is not dead. Spiritually, he is not. While he is no longer with us and we can no longer hear his voice crying, he can see and hear us. Every time we pray, we can ask Baby Moses for his prayer. The intercession and prayers of our brothers and sisters who are now in the company of the Lord can help us. That’s why we continue to pray for Baby Moses, even though strictly speaking, he doesn’t really need our prayer. He is now in Heaven with our Lord.
We thank God for giving him to us for a couple of months. We thank God for you, the Freeman family, and Vanessa and Kitty, and Angel Missions Haiti.
I will be in Haiti one of these days. I am scheduled to go in 2015 to visit our missions. If the mother of Baby Moses is nearby, I will make a point to see her in person. I will give her assurance that her baby was treated like the baby of the Freeman family. I couldn’t ask God for more. God was so gracious for sending the five of you to take care of our brother Moses until he was born into life eternal.
As we pray for the family and friends of Baby Moses, let us also ask for Baby Moses’ prayer, keeping in mind that one day, we will see him again. Let us ask that we may have the strength and the grace to always live the teachings of the gospel. May we live a life worthy of our dignity as God’s children, so that one day together with Baby Moses, we may have a happy reunion at the eternal dwelling of our Father in heaven.