Anyone who saw the funeral Mass for Senator Ted Kennedy last Saturday witnessed one of the most moving Masses found in the Catholic Church. It is aptly entitled the Mass of the Resurrection because it recalls the hope of every Christian that eternal life will be theirs after death because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Since we share in Christ's resurrection through baptism, it is very appropriate that we commend the dead to the Lord while remembering His glorious resurrection.
On Saturday, the Mass was carried out with dignity and reverence as it should have been. It was a moving and inspirational liturgy that celebrated the life of the Senator in light of the Lord's saving acts. That is, except for one moment. After the moving eulogies delivered by the Kennedy children, the Senator's grandchildren took to the podium to present what is called the Prayers of the Faithful. These prayers are to be prayers for the local community and are to include a prayer for the Pope and the Church worldwide. Other than these prayers, nothing more is demanded. It is customary to hear prayers for the sick of the community, for those who have died, and for all sorts of needs that the parish may have. That part of Saturday's Mass was changed, however.
The Kennedy grandchildren read various "prayers" based upon the Senator's career. They recalled his dedication to the poor and his zeal for social issues. At one point, on of the grandsons read a "prayer" about national health care! National Health Care! This was absurd. There was not one prayer for the Pope or the Church. All the prayers happened to be about the Senator not for him as it should have been.
Now all of this may seem very trivial to many who may read this. And, in a certain sense, it is. However, I point this out to illustrate what I believe is so wrong with society in general. Everything is now political fodder. Everything. There, during the most sacred rite that Catholics practice, the Mass, children read what amounted to the political agenda of Senator Kennedy's career. This world is not about us! It is about God and His magnificent creation of which we are a part. We are the most sublime example of His creation, but by no means are we the center of His creation! We come together at Mass to worship Him not our accomplishments. It is my belief that the sooner we all recognize that God is the center of our existence, the better off the world would be.
It is not about us; it is about God!