In his powerful homily at Senator Edward M. Kennedy's funeral, Fr. Mark Hession reflected on the Gospel reading from Matthew 25. The “works of the kingdom” (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc.) were “daily concerns of the public life of Teddy Kennedy,” who sought to realize them in a world “dramatically more complex than the society in which Jesus spoke these words.” The broad demands of Christian discipleship, the priest noted, are clear in principle but “few of us, if any, meet them all.” Most have a “strong suit matched with gaps and struggles,” and that was certainly Ted Kennedy. Still, Kennedy's strong suit was the faith of the Hebrew prophets, “who stood in defense of the widows, the orphans, and the refugees of their time.” In our time, the priest concluded, the needs of these same groups “did not escape Ted Kennedy's notice.” Deo gratias.
Published in the 2009-09-11 issue: