As Fr. Anthony Vu, a Vietnamese parochial vicar, conducted the 7am Sunday mass at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach, a dad and his daughter slipped in the back to pray and receive communion. That was what Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi did on Sunday morning, January 26, just before boarding a helicopter to her game north of Los Angeles, California.
A few hours later the world was shocked at news that the basketball legend, his daughter and six other friends perished along with the pilot in a terrible and tragic crash.
More than all his awards and trophies, Kobe Bryant was a dad, husband, lover, friend. When we learned of his death this week, millions of people bowed in prayer for the popular basketball player’s family and friends. He was a legendary athlete, formidable competitor, intense coach and also a man of God.
These are the moments that refocus our hearts on the sanctity, beauty, joys, tears, grief and difficulties of the adventure of life.
The Word of God gives us peace with these promises.
“The Lord rules over the deep waters; he rules as king forever. The Lord gives strength to his people and blesses them with peace” (Ps 29:10)
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps 34:18)
Living with great intentionality, taking care of the relationships and resources God has given us, these are what make life worth living, and are the things we must care for each day.
Moments matter. What moments do you need to be intentional about this weekend? Who do you need to call, to give a positive word, to bring affirmation. What could you intentionally do today that would leave a lasting memory of hope, love and grace?
Maybe, like me, when you read of Kobe’s death you examined your own life. Maybe, like me, you find yourself with regrets — moments that were not lived well. Moments that were wasted or squandered.
Jesus came to redeem the moments of life. To fill our hearts with hope and love — and we can make a decision today to make every moment count.
So, let’s pray for all the families so deeply affected by this tragedy. And, let's make every moment of our lives count. Someone in your life needs your words of comfort, wisdom, hope and peace.