Excerpt from funeral service for 10-year-old Holly Jones, delivered by Father Daniel Utrecht, of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church in Toronto yesterday:
One big question stands in the way of this – a question that comes to the hearts of many people. If God loves us so much, where was he last Monday night? Did he abandon Holly when she needed him? I’m sure it is all right to ask that question, but I am also sure of the answer. No. God did not abandon Holly. How can I be so sure of that? Because I believe in Jesus Christ – in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who suffered, died, and rose from the dead. We could ask the same question of him that we asked about Holly. Where was God when Jesus was suffering from a terrible, violent death? Did God abandon him…? Where was God? God was on the cross. Jesus is God…The one suffering on the cross was God. He allowed himself to experience the sense of being abandoned by the father…He has risen from the dead and has gone to Heaven before us to prepare a place for us. If he can experience the sense of being abandoned by God, you know he is with anyone who experiences that same sense – someone who is suffering, or in need, or who seems to be all alone. Jesus has shared in that experience and he is with that person. He was with Holly last Monday. I’m sure of it. He is with her still.