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Read the homily of Antonio Velasco, a missionary priest during the internment mass of Jaime Bonet Bonet last June 29. See the video of the mass below.
Homily of Antonio Velasco (missionary priest, Fraternidad Misionera Verbum Dei)
Share our feelings with Jaime, “Jaime what do you feel?” “I feel the joy of all the saints. What is eternal life? What is Jaime living now? I imagined Jaime arriving very shy to Heaven, and the Trinity and Mary giving him a group hug. Like when a member of the family arrives home—not taking turns, but all together. Also I imagined him greeting brothers and sisters very dear to him. Rejoicing, tasting that source of beauty and joy that is God and the communion of all the saints. We should be sharing the joy of Jaime with the Trinity and Mary and all the Saints.
Second, thanksgiving amidst many mixed feelings. The first time I came to this chapel I was amazed. I didn’t know Jaime, but I had never laughed like that in a church like with his homily. When I came to Siete Aguas, they told me, “Antonio, do whatever you want, but don’t do spiritual exercises. They will eat your head.” After the mass a missionary approached me, “don’t you want to do exercises?” “Yes!” The words of Jaime marked me.
Jaime for us has been a father a brother and a teacher
Father that helped us to be born to this treasure of faith. When my own father died I was thankful for giving me the essential, he helped me to be a person. Is the same with Jaime. He introduced me to the life of God with his life and preaching he gave me the greatest treasure of my life and vocation
A brother because we have shared this missionary journey, walking together, always accompanying us very closely—although sometimes he was a bit grumpy, but with so much love. Jaime was trying to translate all truths of faith in his life.
A Teacher. I think all of us are trying to make an internal synthesis of who is Jaime. For me, he had 3 great loves:
1. Trinity and Mary. His biggest treasure: a way of relating with God very closely interpersonal dialogue. Prayer as a fraternal, filial, spousal dialogue. Dialogue among two persons that are alive. In our formation we shared with him closely. Whatever hour of the morning you woke up he was there in the chapel. He was teaching with his life to be friends with Jesus.
2. Passion for the mystical body. Passion for the suffering humanity of Christ. He had a photo of a little suffering child with the words of the Psalm, “Save me by your love.” Teaching us to go beyond ourselves and see the suffering and resurrected humanity of Jesus waiting for us. His life was like a burning bush, “I have heard the affliction of my people, go I am sending you.” No wonder why in Verbum Dei chapels we always have a tabernacle and the world map. Listening to Christ the head he also listened to his suffering members, and he was moved. Let´s listen to the voice of Jesus that is calling us in our brothers and is sending us. He used to say when preaching, “Mystical body for me is also you in front of me, those who God entrusted to me. Father I pray for them, these who are in front of me and those who will believe through their word.” He is praying for us and for those who will believe through his word. Passion to form apostles, believing in each person. He went ahead of the Church: we all are missionary disciples. He saw an apostle in each one. His life was like John the Baptist, pointing to Jesus—go to Jesus and go to my brothers and sisters.
3. The Word of God. Spanish poem, “You put a tool in our hands and you told us is time to create.” This tool is the Word of God. Jaime´s love to the Trinity and contemplating the suffering Body of Christ made him take the Word of God as a gift. The sources of the Church are not only the word, also the Sacraments, but the word made him be Eucharist, bread. The word was the path of Jaime. Go and make disciples in the name of the father teaching them all that I have taught you.
His life is very simple. Expressed in his vocation at 14 years old, “If you exist, make me happy.” His personal experience with him. One of his classmates in Mallorca shared to me that in their chapel at school there was a tabernacle with a lettering, “The teacher is here and is asking for you.” Jaime told that teacher, “if you exist make me happy.” Then, he felt an overflowing joy. And he asked Jesus, “What can I do for you?” And Jesus told him, “Take my love to all through my word.” “I consecrate my life for that.” Verbum Dei was a consequence of that. It’s a simple life. The movement of his heart, knowing God and giving him to others.
Each one of us can summarize the legacy of Jaime. I see Jaime in each chapter of the Constitutions. A fascinating way to live our consecration.
Anecdote: 4 am doing revision with Jaime—we were young missionaries. He said, “I realize that I am reaching the end of my life – he was 65! I need to go faster in my consecration.” He was always like that—more love, more passion. I want to love you more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow, Lord.”
When he was starting to be older and sick, he was in such a peace just saying, “trinity in me.” He was in God. Looking at Mary one had the impression that he was taken away.
Anecdotes: One time he was in the hospital, so he started asking the nurses, “where are you assigned: go to preach!” When watching soccer, during the break he would ask: “where are the preachers?” I wish the end of my life I would have that passion for God and for the mission.
I think this is the legacy of Jaime. We will need time to summarize and taste. He transmits to us these loves. After the beautiful moments of the funeral, one of my sisters said, “I wanted to be the first one to go and kiss his coffin. I asked him for my daughter who is sick.” Each one can ask him as a friend in Heaven. The only thing I was asking is, “Jaime, help me be Verbum Dei missionary.” Help me to do the mission that God is asking to me. Jaime will help you, I assure you. Don’t ask him for money! But to do the mission, to be creative, not be afraid of the world but be passionate for it.
That seeing the mystical body we may feel that we are sent. Bring out the best of each brother and sister to be instruments of God. Give thanks for all the gifts we have received from Jaime. Even if you didn’t know him, you have experienced grace through him. He was just trying to be an instrument. He used to say, “Verbum Dei is an old sandal with which Jesus wants to use to go and preach!” We are one community more, humbly we give the gift that we are.
A man of the Spirit in the Church, who went ahead of the Church with his spirituality of missionary-disciples.
He always pointed us to a missionary communion in the image of the church, communion in the Mission.
Video of the internment mass of Jaime Bonet Bonet, founder of Verbum Dei.
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