It's been many years since my parents went to be with the Lord. My Mom died in 1975 and my Dad in 1984. Today's Holy Mass impressed upon my heart a deep sense of their presence and love. The first reading from Song of Songs contained my Mom's favorite passage from Scripture: 8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills. 9 My beloved is like a gazelle, or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice. 10 My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; 11 for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. My Mom's fondness for this passage was twofold. Her beloved was my father John, whom my Mom tenderly called Brud. But in the winter of her suffering I realized it referred to Jesus, her Beloved, who would come soon and lead her to the eternal springtime. And my Dad was there at the Consecration where I heard him give the same instruction as in my early years: "When the Host is elevated, lower your head and beat your breast and say: My Lord and my God, for Jesus has come once more!" Thank you Lord at this Christmastide for our parents and past ancestors who passed on the Faith! Praise you Holy Spirit for breathing your grace anew in our souls with each passing generation! Glory to our humble Lord!