At least 500 people came together to celebrate the life of JoseMari Manahan at the church dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria in Riverside, California. The faithful in attenance were there to support the family, true. They were also there because a missionary has gone home and we all wanted to live a moment of spiritual connection with this zealous being who was a brother to so many of God's chosen ones.
My spouse and I knew JoseMari for but a short time. From the first moment we knew that we were in the presence of an apostle. So happy, so serene and at the same time, so focused and driven. As the saying goes in California, "it was a magical moment."
One element that caught my attention was that the passing from this life to the other was respected by the fact a full sized coffin was the final housing for God's creation. This was fitting because the little I knew of the deceased touched me deeply and this was a great spiritual finishing touch. It gives me pause when I see the remains being respected all the way to the grave in such a complete and continuing exercise of spirituality. It is my wish that the same will be accorded to me. I want to give everyone a chance to get a last burst of the relationship that developed over a lifetime. Good, bad or indifferent, y'all come and spend one more moment with me and Our Father Creator. Just remember that there is no crying allowed at my funeral.
Now we are going to ask Joe to accompany us and the choir to Bethlehem and Jerusalem and other places of God's Own Land. That will be a great, great experience. I, for one, can't wait.