Thank God for William!

Thank You God for the Gift of William

In keeping with my November theme and continuing to “give thanks”, I would like to share with you about a little boy who died at about 7 years of age back in 1992 in my second year of priesthood at Sacred Heart Church in Jacksonville. He would have been 26 years old today. One of his classmates served with me in Iraq in 2004. I give great thanks that I met him. William taught me how to live and die with great love and respect. I was so hesitant to be there at the moment he died, and yet it is probably one of my most amazing and precious gifts. Because of William, I believe I was taught to stand by the men and women who died in Iraq as they died and serve with integrity those left behind.

God bless you on this Journey of William. The Gospel I used for this homily at his funeral is Luke 24:13-35 which is the Road to Emmaus. They recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread which was at the dinner table when they were giving thanks!


Thank you God for the gift of William,
His life, his love, his longing for God
I, a priest, met William in the hospital
last fall when he was beginning to be shaken from the tree.
The winds of time
And the hard frost of cancer weakened this small boy terribly

But at the same time we were stunned with helplessness
Our William became stunningly colorful
William was a work of art,
A reflection of God’s holiness and creativity

In the too few times
I encountered William these past few months
I felt a wonderful peace and presence
that permeated my soul from this gentle and lovely boy.
He laughed and giggled and prayed with me
through songs and puppets and goofy tricks

What amazes me most of all about William
is that he knew who I was
as a representative of God and Jesus.
William called me to be Christ,
even though I am unworthy for the role…honest
We, the parish of Sacred Heart,
anointed William three times with the oil of the sick
Once in front of the entire community
as he hid his face within his Father’s arms
and moved every one of us with deep emotion
I believe that when William was anointed with the holy oils
and the laying on of hands, he healed us a bit
We received the touch of God through the touch of William
who still touches us now
as our hearts burn
almost to the point of consuming us with grief and loss

We weep and we hurt
William has wept and hurt
But no longer
Jesus, O Jesus
Meet us on this road
Meet us today and explain to us what is happening
Let our hearts burn with William’s presence and love and spirit
Let this church of lovers burn with your presence and love and spirit
Break open the Silence
Comfort our hurtin’ hearts
and assure us that you have not abandoned us

William called for me via his mother
His mother asked me to help William, so I thought,
to pass through the Fear of Death
Upon arrival I realized, that no
I experienced that William
was to help me and you through this pain in our hearts

I anointed William for the third and last time
And then the oil poured down from heaven
I broke the bread, the Body of Christ, and touched it to his lips
and then shared it with his family

A spasm
A song
A prayer and breaking open of Scriptures

While his family wept for William with heads bowed,
they knew he was saying good-bye
I noticed his little gasps for breath
and focus of his eyes
William seemed to take the appearance of Jesus
William was seeing the Glory of God with Jesus
and Jesus took the pain!
I was looking at Jesus
And Jesus was looking at me!
And now Jesus looks at You!
Calling you all to love one another
And be loving
Come to Jesus
and live the Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven
And William will not be far from you
In fact,
In the Breaking of the Bread
which we will share soon
Rejoice in the Love of God
The burning of Love
A God who shares our pain, and sorrow and joy
Believe it
As you feel it right now
Be alive and risen

This little boy
Like a small seed falling to the ground
Has become a tree of love, of life
To shade us
And bring us peace
Thank you God for William
Thank you God for

Beloved on this first week of Advent, may we journey to the Birth of Christ and then on through his life to the glory of Easter.

Love, joy, peace,
Father Ron Moses +

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