Monday, November 2, 2009
All the Faithful Departed
Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. " John 5:24-27
I found out yesterday that Bishop Charles Vache passed away early in the morning. A saint of a man passing away on All Saints' Day. He had been in robust health for a long time but recently had suffered quite a bit. Now he has gone to his rest and reward. Charles was Bishop in Southern Virginia and was long retired when I arrived. He kept busy and helped out when asked and was kind and caring when I was a new bishop. He was a man of great depth, a man of prayer, possessing incredible dignity, compassion and a sense of humor. He was known across the church and was a friend to me in some difficult days.
Today, we celebrate the Feast of all the Faithful Departed. We remember and pray for all the faithful, known and unknown, who have lived lives of Christian faithfulness. The people who bore witness to God's love and work in their lives. So today, I want to remember and give thanks especially for Charles Vache who showed me, by his witness, how to be a bishop for all people. He carried himself with kindness and grace and listened to the hurting people, even as he bore pain in his own body. May we all live today giving thanks for those who have enabled us to live lives of faith. May God give us all the courage to be an example for others, as those faithful departed have been for us.