The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is always a tough day for me because my college roommate, Dave Connors died on this day in 1995, now 17 years ago. It seems impossible that it was that long ago, but we were all 25 in the springtime of our lives but for Dave, it was life’s end.

It isn’t a big leap for me to equate his mother’s experience with the experience of Mary, who too knew what it was like to lose a child, a child in the apparent springtime of his life. All was just starting to be new and exciting for Jesus and it came to a crushing end. While Dave’s death was after a long illness, the final blow of death still remained quite a shock.

One of the things that I admire about Mary was her ability to have faith despite the horror of the cross. Would all her promises come true in the face of this death? Indeed they did. And while none of us are Mary, the one who was conceived Immaculately, we are called to have that same kind of faith in the faith of death.

Today, I hope that Dave’s mom and dad can know and believe that God has redeemed all of Dave’s suffering and that he sits with God where no pain can ever hurt him again. May that knowledge relieve their suffering and may Mary whisper words of comfort to Lorraine, Dave’s mom so that she might not fear Sister death anymore. Rather, may she pray to her son, just as Mary prays to her son. While Dave is not Jesus, I believe he intercedes for us and I long for Sister death to one day unite us together once again.

For today, may our soul proclaim the greatness of the Lord and our spirit rejoice in God, our savior who defeats even death.