“…rich in what matters to God” (Luke 12:21)
At noon on Monday, October 20, 1924, Father James Kern, O.Praem., died during surgery in Austria at age 27. He was shot at age 19 while serving in the army during World War I. He was discharged from the army at age 20 and joined the Norbertines; he was ordained in 1922 at age 25. The following year he had surgery again on his war wound, and during his recuperation ministered to many sick people. He said, “The believer knows that suffering is a difficult path but that it ends up in bright light and warmth which awaits us on the other side of the grave.” When his body was exhumed in 1956 his right hand, which he used to bless people, was found incorrupt.
Pope Saint John Paul II beatified Father James in Vienna, Austria on June 21, 1998, encouraging all to follow this “hero of the Church.” Father James Kern was, as Jesus said in today’s Gospel, “rich in what matters to God”.
– Father McLaughlin