Faith is about Redemption: The Life of Ted Kennedy

By Jim Wallis 09-03-2009

I have never really trusted those who are intolerant and condemning of other people's shortcomings. It makes me suspect they are likely hiding their own. This weekend was full of the story of redemption for me, as the nation said its good-byes to Sen. Edward Kennedy.

I watched everything -- from the moving memorial service on Friday night to the amazing funeral Mass on Saturday, to the private burial that same evening, to much of the news coverage and comment on Sunday. The stories from Friday are worth listening to again, especially the touching tributes from Kennedy's Republican adversaries who grew to respect and even love him, and the hilarious tales of sailing adventures. The Irish always say there should be lots of laughter at a good wake.

But it was the funeral on Saturday morning that most moved me. I don't know what I was expecting -- likely more speeches -- but not a traditional Catholic funeral liturgy, complete with Holy Eucharist. Of course, what else should I have expected from such a Boston Catholic family? Here was the divine irony. At the funeral of the nation's most liberal political leader of the last half-century, a watching nation was treated to a full Catholic Mass. And even more, the readings are what most struck me. When was the last time the whole country got to hear the 25th chapter of Matthew, with Jesus imploring us, "I was hungry

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