Weekly Homilies

Homily: Celebration of the Life of Jim Bussen

August 10, 2013 Chicago

Marianne Duddy-Burke


Readings:  Jeremiah 1: 4-10

                    Acts 15:1-12

                    Matthew 5:13-16


The key to today’s readings lies in Galatians.  For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Our presider, Reverend Mary Ramsden, offered this poem by by Jan L. Richardson as a reflection on the Gospel reading from St. Luke and the readings from Kings and the Letter to the Galatians:

Blessing for the Raising of the Dead

This blessing

does not claim

to raise the dead.

It is not so audacious

as that.

But be sure

it can come

and find you

if you think yourself

beyond all hope,

beyond all remedy;

if you have

laid your bones down

in your exhaustion


Luke 24: 1-12

On the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body of Jesus.

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.

Nothing you can say but you can learn how the play the game. 
It’s easy.

There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made.

No one you can save that can’t be saved. 
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time. 
It’s easy.

All you need is love. 
All you need is love.

All you need is love. Love. 
Love is all you need.

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.

Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.


Oh Holy One … I come to you again, my center.  Ground Me.

I come to confess my weariness.  Hold me.

I come to seek your face. Smile on me.

I come to be made whole. Heal me.

I come to open my heart to You. Fill me.

I come to open my mind to You. Teach me.

I come to open my spirit to You. Breathe in to me.

I come to live and to die in You. Show me Your Love.


Today, we hear the vocational experiences of Isaiah, Paul, and three of Jesus' first

disciples, Simon, James and John. In three very different encounters, these believers heard

and heeded God's call, and in that moment, their lives changed course and took a direction

they had not planned.

Isaiah was a priest and counselor to four of Israel's kings; he was called to be God's

prophet and discerner of God's will for a people often unwilling to hear and reluctant to

As I sat down this morning to reflect on today’s readings there in front of me on the computer was a snapshot of the Dignity Chicago board.  Here we are all smiling, content in the fact that the membership meeting is going well.

Today’s readings speak to us down through the ages. In every time … every culture … through every age, humanity has always been about relationships, family, la familia.

“Take off your robe of misery and mourning; you will wear God’s glorious splendor forever.”

Today’s readings are about prophesy and light filled with eternal echoes … of joy, hope and justice for those who honor God’s will for us. They speak of endings and beginnings. But more important, they tell us not to ever lose sight of the prize that lies in our salvation. Along the way make straight … value that which really matters … our relationships with our God, ourselves and each other.