But the faithful imagination can’t praise, can’t give thanks to a God who doesn’t judge, because our faith rests on the premise that God wrests justice from even the most horrible earthly circumstances. And this is our praise, that we align ourselves with the one true merciful, gracious, just God, even when pain presumptuously lays claim to our bodies, even when sin posts a writ declaring ownership of our souls. We turn to God in faith even when death’s chilling silence encompasses the good men and women of whom we can’t yet let go. We turn to God, because we know God will vindicate their suffering, their loss, their death — and our quavering confidence defies any powers that perpetuate poverty, any powers that neglect the sick and those who care for them. Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, Remembering all the good hearts who have stood beside us, in sorrow or hardship, our faith defies even death itself — in the risen mercy of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Akma » Missing Michael. A sermon given in memory of Michael O’Connor Clarke.