Sunday, July 22, 2012

What the Lord Requires

What the Lord Requires

July 23, 2012
Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

"An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.  Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights."  Matthew 12:39-40


Eternal rest grant unto him. May perpetual light shine upon him. May Al's soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


John Donne wrote that every death diminishes me. Some deaths are felt more than others. In light of wars and gun violence, our national conscience is preoccupied with lives cut short. However, what if we are given the gift of a full long life? What does it mean to live it to the fullest?
Micah shares a perspective on that in our first reading as the prophet details how we are to live -- "To do right, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with our God." 
Maybe the way my former co-worker Al Rotundo lived also has a lesson for all of us. Al died after 80 years of fullness.  The newspaper obituaries are never complete.  My knowledge of his life of love and service is partial as well, knowing Al only since 2003. He was a dedicated husband, father, brother and son. Al was a practical Catholic attending Holy Spirit Church in Annandale.  Al was a dedicated public servant and employee.  Al was well-read, well-traveled and well-liked.  I was lucky to know him in his "retirement years."
After more than four decades (half his life) spent doing the work of the people as a Federal employee, Al "retired" -- whatever that means.  After a short break that lasted all of a weekend, he came back to work for the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area where he served for seven years raising money from Federal employees for local, national and international charities.  This public servant never stopped serving the public.  Not only did he help others, he also helped other people help others.
Eighty years.  A full eighty years of which I was lucky to have known Al for the last portion.  


How will we use our lives -- every day? I hope as well as Al taught us by his humble example.

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