Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christian Laments

I went to Fr Keerankeri's funeral service after all, and the music that his friends played to comfort themselves was exquisite. The odd thing about death is the cascade of memories that people have about the one they will miss. Fr Keeran was a great biblical scholar, and he taught me Hebrew and Greek so that I could read the originals. I was the only woman in the class, and  a lay person at that. It was a Masters in Theology class, and the priests were people who learned the alphabets overnight. "IF you know Latin or Sanskrit, its very simple" they said loftily. We studied Paul Ricoeur and worked with exegisis and hermeneutics. There was only one moment which was a little complicated, because I was then 23 years old, and I involuntarily said in class "But Heaven is a utopia, like the stateless  society in Marx". I still remember the look he gave me. Such an odd blank uncomprehending look. The other Jesuits looked away. Fr Keeran sent me his books when he published them and one day I will read them again carefully to understand what everyone knew so well about him in person: the love commandment in the new testament.
So the songs at his funeral were about love and faith, and loss and belief, and I came away comforted.

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