In a blessedly sweet irony, Judy was not even “in the house” as the eyewitness reports came pouring in on the feast of St. Thomas.
Friends who’ve known Judy Brouk for 30 years spoke about how so very often she has been Christ to them – in her generous service as choir director at St. Anthony’s of High Ridge; as an attentive and engaged “school Mom”; as caring and loving companion throughout life’s ups and downs.
Many others paid tribute to the Christ-light in Judy, too – those who’ve known her primarily through the ACTS retreat movement that she worked tirelessly to bring both to her own parish and to other communities on mission teams.
Even a few perfect strangers rose to give witness to the grace they’ve seen from afar in this beautiful woman, who earlier this week entered hospice care…and perhaps the final phase of her multi-year fight against cancer.
We hold out hope for a miracle, of course – as we continued to send our prayers and words of comfort to Judy via FaceTime last evening.
We behold a great mystery, too, I realized…as we gathered to celebrate this Mass for the Sick in her honor: The marvelous mystery of coming together to witness – dozens upon dozens of Judy’s best friends, her sisters and brothers in Christ, and even those acquaintances she wouldn’t know by name – all on the feast of St. Thomas, scripture’s notorious skeptic.
Thomas, you may recall, found this whole “Risen Lord” thing a bit difficult to swallow:
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
The great saint did eventually encounter Christ in his woundedness, of course.
And last night, so did we.
Judy gave us that gift, by bringing us together as the Body of Christ to tell our stories – leaving absolutely no doubt in our hearts that “He is Alive” in her…as well as in each one of us.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.