Deacon Earl’s Homily

Deacon Earl’s funeral homily for Wrenlow Ainsworth

On behalf of the parish family here at SFX, Fr. Dale Cieslik and the whole staff, we wish to express our sincere condolences to Ashley and Luke, Theresa and Robert, Mandy & Graham and the whole family gathered here today.  We gather to remember the life of Wrenlow Rhode Ainsworth, a precious child of God. 

Wherever our hearts may be this day, know that Jesus knows exactly where they are, and so, we can bring him our confusion, doubts, struggles, and difficulties because this is not an easy thing.

There is something inside us that rebels against death.  This rebellion in us is from the Lord, because God made us to live His abundant life, not this, and that brings us to our confusion.  Wherever your heart is today, the Lord wants to tend to it.

It’s not hard to feel the pain and sorrow at the loss of Wrenlow, but as follower’s of Christ, we know that there is more for us.  When we recall Christ suffering, death and rising, we see God’s plan of salvation being offered to us.  Something so great— out of something so horrible.  Like the dawn of a new day, in the very midst of our grief and sadness, an experience of His goodness can and will come to us.  His goodness is like rays of light that penetrate the darkness of grief and sorrow. 

When we think about “life”, what does it strike up in us?

Many define a “successful” life with wealth, comfort, happiness, and the joy of living to be maybe 80 or 90 years of age.  And so, to compare that sense of life, to the life of Wrenlow, who was in her mother’s womb for nearly 6 months, and only 7 days outside, her life would seem short of that definition.  But as believers, we don’t measure life by a number of years.  We understand the big difference between earthly life and eternal life.  The number of days, or months in a womb, or even 100 years of life really becomes very small when considered against the reality of all eternity, and the immortal nature of our souls.

I will always consider August 26th as one of the greatest days of my life.   It was the day that Wrenlow was born and baptized.  Ashley, Luke, Theresa and Robert, it is a real testament to your faith and discipleship, that you wanted to have Wrenlow baptized when she was born.  It was a great privilege to baptize her, and your faith in Christ spoke for Wrenlow.  In that precious moment, Jesus poured out his salvation into her soul, freeing her from original sin, incorporating her into the family of God, and He placed an indelible mark on her soul.  It was from God’s hand that she came to you, and to God’s hand that she has returned.  Wrenlow lives eternally with God the Father.

Sometimes we forget the purpose of life.  We forget that God wants us to be in heaven with him eternally.  He created us for heaven.  Jesus told us, on the night before he died, that he would go and prepare a place for us, because He wants us with him eternally.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus said “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them.  For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”. How much more hope do we need if we trust in those words?  The creator of the universe, the creator of all things, bent down to touch and to bless the little children.  We can imagine how much he delights in inviting Wrenlow into eternity.

In her few days here with you Ashley and Luke, she brought you a deep love, a love you have never known before.  In her short life, she touched the hearts of her parents, grandparents, nurses, aids, doctors, a deacon and many more.  On this side of heaven, we may never know all those she has touched.  It’s very possible, that Wrenlow unleashed a love greater than some people do in a long life.  The sole purpose of this earthly life is to love and to be loved.  And so, in this regard, Wrenlow’s short life was immensely successful.  

Today, let us entrust our grief and sorrow to the One who knows it very well.  The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.  She knew the great joy of carrying her child within.  But she also knew the most profound sorrow and grief, as she held her beloved son on Calvary’s hill.  We can cry out in our grief and sorrow today.  Let it have a voice within you.  Give it all to him.  Let it perhaps… be your offering, surrender it to him, because he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

We do not know or understand the plan, but we do know God is trustworthy, because a God that suffers and dies for us is worthy of our trust. You held your daughter in your arms, you sang to her, and your  eyes gazed in love and wonderment upon her.  We give Wrenlow back to God today, into his loving arms, and there is no safer for her.  His loving eyes are upon her now and forever.