Merle Gent, Funeral Mass, homily

Merle Gent

Funeral Mass, 20 May, 1999

Corpus Christi, Glenroy,


Merle came to morning Mass regularly over many years, through summer and winter, rain and wind. This is remarkable and is an indication of something profound in her nature. It was not possible for her to do this so faithfully for so long unless there had been in her a profound insight. A divine flame must have burnt in her. She must have seen something beyond time and space, beyond life and death. She must have seen the face of God.

This altered her perception of things. It gave her confidence in the face of her own mortality. We are fragile and our securities are not very reliable. She too was fragile and knew how swiftly times passes and she would be gone. Yet she knew him whom her heart loved and who drew her to himself each morning. She knew, from inner knowledge, that he is trustworthy and that he is stronger than her vulnerable humanity, more permanent than the cycles of nature, more rewarding than any human act.

We have come to pay our respects to the memory of Merle Gent. Her family and her friends, each of you, will have a different tale to tell and give witness to her character each in a different way.

However, we are doing more here than recalling the past. We look to Merle’s future. We have hopes for her and not just regrets. Her future is based on her past. She saw God with her inner eye; she will look on him with her eyes of flesh. Even though she becomes dust and ashes, she will see him physically with her whole being. She came to Mass again and again; she will celebrate the eternal Mass of heaven. She loved and sometimes knew not how to love but now she will love with all clarity and without any shadow of compromise.

We too by the same grace of God will see her in all her beauty and she will know us in every way. Then we will know a joy which eternity cannot exhaust. Let us look forward to Merle’s future and ours with her.


About interfaithashram

Rev. Dr. John Dupuche is a Roman Catholic Priest, a senior lecturer at MCD University of Divinity, and Honorary Fellow at Australian Catholic University. His doctorate is in Sanskrit in the field of Kashmir Shaivism. He is chair of the Catholic Interfaith Committee of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and has established a pastoral relationship with the parishes of Lilydale and Healesville. He is the author of 'Abhinavagupta: the Kula Ritual as elaborated in chapter 29 of the Tantraloka', 2003; 'Jesus, the Mantra of God', 2005; 'Vers un tantra chrétien' in 2009; translated as 'Towards a Christian Tantra' in 2009. He has written many articles. He travels to India each year. He lives in an interfaith ashram.
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