Friday, April 12 2024
Saturday, April 13 2024

John Augustine Eulogy

Maria; John’s mother has shared with me that John’s birthday was on Easter Sunday. I thought this was a remarkable day for a birthday.
When I heard this, I contemplated on the very first Easter Sunday when the resurrection of Jesus Christ took place.

On that day we hear about the many important people from the circle of Jesus Christ who had one common element among them, that is being puzzled and full of wonderment.

  • Apostle Peter left the empty tomb wondering what had happened.
  • Mary Magdalene stood in the garden wondering about the whereabouts of Jesus’ body.
  • The disciples on the road to Emmaus were puzzled at the reports of the empty tomb.
  • Thomas was wondering at the report of the disciples who had seen the Lord. I guess John being born on Easter Sunday had thus inherited this characteristic of the wonderment of the thinkers mentioned in the account of the holy resurrection.   I saw on Sunday a glimpse of what you have firsthand experience with and what you still remember of those beautiful memories of the young Saint Demetrios Community days of which John was part of.I know from testimonies about John and Kim who took under their wings not only their own children but other children of the community; becoming adopted parents and role models serving as chaperones while traveling around to different churches and communities as dance troop participants, Goya members proudly representing their home community of Saint Demetrios at various sports events, dances and much more.I thought after talking to John the first time and the various times afterwards that he was a thinker and an analyzer. Knowing God and understanding the mysteries of the universe became comprehensible within his soul and spirit through the channel of his mind.This is why I thought it was very significant that God enabled him to keep his mental capacities intact and sharp during his illness even up to the final moment when he breathed his last. God through his mercy protected the most important organ that John needed while he was processing inside his own soul and spirit the mystery of death as he was getting closer and closer to embracing it.

    Standing by his bedside I saw in action the true and genuine divine respect of God, who cares, safeguards, and fully protects the integrity of the free human will.

    Is it not amazing and comforting to know that God gave one of the children of Saint Demetrios parish the same treatment and careful consideration in the twenty first century that he gave on the day of his resurrection to Peter the Apostle, Mary Magdalene, the two disciples of Emmaus, and Thomas who was one of the twelve!

    Certainly for all of you, who surrounded and supported John during the entire time of his illness with such love and close contact, you will find many more marvelous mysteries that have happened during this special time and you will discover more of them in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years, and ponder over them with wonderment.

    I commend you Kim, your three children, Maria as well with Kally and her family, and all of you for the outpouring of love and support that I have witnessed among all of you during John’s illness and passing. It was an amazing experience for me to be part of this love story.

    I think it is a great act of love that God’s mercy has triggered your grieving and healing process at a very early stage and even before the passing of John and allowed you to have the precious privilege of multiple opportunities to reminisce the fond memories of the past and to laugh about them with him and in his presence.

    Kim, I admire you for your attentive presence at all times by John’s side. It looks like your best friend and husband followed the footsteps of his dad in everything even in the example of his death and the outpouring of love he left behind in the hearts of many people.

  • My invitation to all of you is to start looking for divine comfort, healing, and inner peace in the house of God where the divine grace of the Lord can heal the infirm, restore the broken, and wipe away every tear from the face of all the people.
  • God has given you multiple opportunities for hugs, touches, eye contact, and enabled you to express to him your love, admiration, and sincere sentiments.
  • I want to encourage all of you to rejoice in the mercy that the Lord has shown to him and to you by giving you the precious opportunity during this past time to express your love to John so many times and in so many ways.
  • John has left behind many who will mourn his passing, and I want you to allow me to share with everyone my sincere admiration for your close net of love before and during the time of John’s passing.
  • Is it not amazing that John who was born on Easter Sunday dies on the day that Jesus’ friend, Lazarus died for the first time! Can it be a mere coincidence that John is laid in the grave on the same day that Jesus has come to Bethany to resurrect Lazarus?
  • John passed away, I felt, only when his intellectual wonderment and curiosity was fully satisfied and only when his human will consented to embracing this marvelous mystery.
  • Even about sixteen hours before his death as the rest of his body was preparing itself to expire; John’s mental capacity was still sharp, and that was apparent through the language of his semi motionless body as we did the final prayer service by his bedside. In addition to all the infinite blessings which God has freely given me; he blessed my life one more time with a great blessing through my ministry to John.
  • Not knowing any of this at the time when I first met John, after speaking briefly and casually with me and as he walked away I was left with the impression that he was a son that never got over the passing of his father. Even from that one brief encounter it was obvious to me that the event of the passing of his dad had left him with an inerasable imprint inside his soul. John greatly admired his father Steno and looked up to walking in his footsteps. A few years later I came to realize that he himself left the same imprint in his relationship with his children.
  • I have heard from many of you remembering John; as being a devoted son, or a young man who loved sports, or about his pride for being a recipient and an heir of the heritage of the Greek Orthodox Faith.
  • John is remembered growing up with his peers as a brother to every one of the children of Saint Demetrios’ community who grew up here or happened to live around the same neighborhood.
  • John was rooted in this community; he was born and grew up as part of Saint Demetrios, at the time there wasn’t a family that didn’t know his family. Therefore, the Greek description “Born and raised” “Γέννημα και Θρέμμα” would perfectly describe him as a product of this parish.

May the Lord who was generous with you and granted you time together and outpouring love to make it through this turbulent time of sickness and death, May the same gracious Lord grant you all the means of healing to the wounds of your soul and your spirit. Amen