If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Friday, February 8, 2013

In Honor of My Friend, Yukiko

Early this morning while in prayer I reflected on one of Nancy’s art pieces that depicts the resurrection. I was particularly moved by the image, and words of prose began to form in my mind. I wrote them down before I lost them. 

And then, later that day, I learned the devastating news of our dear Yukiko, a faithful member of our Monday night Bible study. Yukiko had suffered a massive stroke. We’d just seen her a few nights ago. Alive. Vibrant. Hungering to learn more of the word of God and to enjoy fellowship with her friends in our small group of St. Charles parishioners. The last I heard, her family had decided to remove her from futile life support and let her go home to her Lord.

It has taken me some time to process that terrible news. And then I remembered the words the Holy Spirit gave me this morning as I contemplated the resurrection.

Here is what I wrote, not realizing I was doing so in honor of our dear sister in Christ:


O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
(1 Corinthians 15:55)
What is more powerful than death?
It is final. Complete. Relentless
What is more powerful than death?
Jesus the Christ,
who splintered death into so many pieces
it will never,
be put back together
He led captivity captive.
He broke death’s grip.
He shattered its chains.
He set the penitent prisoner free.
Jesus said:
I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in Me will live
Even if he dies.
And everyone who lives and believes in Me
Will never die.
And then He Jesus asked:
Do you believe this?


Christian LeBlanc said...

Life is mourning and weeping in a valley of tears; yet we are still taken by surprise.

Richard Maffeo said...

yes. Still taken by surprise. And thus how important it is to live in such a way as to NOT be horribly surprised when we open our eyes that first moment in eternity, and find we are not looking into the smiling face of Jesus.

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

My condolences. What a blessing, though, that she was devoting time to building her relationship with God and how blessed you are to be drawing people like this to your Bible study. God must have delighted in her so much that He brought her home to Himself, her work here being finished in His plan.

Richard Maffeo said...

Thank you. Barbara. We are still reeling.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Rich. I know what a special bond we have with those we pray with. Your words show that death, even though it is so painful, has been defeated once and forever.

Richard Maffeo said...

Thank you, Andie. Last evening was our first study without her. But we talked about the promise of the resurrection from several passages: John 11:17-27, Psalm 23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. I think it was a very encouraging evening.