Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz "What a great eve this world is!"

The Prelate of Opus Dei has been in Barcelona on the occasion of the death of his brother José. He wanted to be close to the widow and the whole family. On Saturday, July 9, he celebrated a funeral Mass in the Oratory of Santa María de Bonaigua.

At the beginning of the homily the Prelate said that “it is logical that we feel sorry about being separated. This is something natural and good. Jesus wept for the death of Lazarus, being as He was – and is – perfect God and perfect Man. Pain and sorrow is one of the manifestations of love, of affection.”

He also recalled some words of Saint Josemaría: “what will it be like when all the beauty, all the goodness, all the infinite marvel of God is poured into this poor vessel of clay that I am, that we all are? ... And then I understand what the Apostle said: ‘eye has not seen, nor ear heard…’ (1 Cor 2:9). It is worthwhile my children, it is worthwhile.”

The Prelate recalled that it was his brother Pepe who first invited him to come to activities of Opus Dei, “with an invitation filled with respect, with freedom. I am sure that a large part of my vocation – of my correspondence, of the discovery of my vocation, because the vocation is given by God – I owe to my brother.”

"What else can we say? It is only natural that the thought of our own death comes to mind. But this leads us to what Saint Paul says in the letter to the Hebrews: our Lord himself has freed us from the fear of death. We shouldn’t be afraid of death. Because life is not lost, it is changed. It changes for the better, if we have struggled to be faithful, if we have made use of the means that our Lord gives us to receive his grace.”

"Thinking about our own death,” he continued, “also leads us to give great value to ordinary life, to work, to the family, to everything that occupies us on a daily basis, which has great value precisely because it is the way to Heaven.” He recalled the first verse of a poem by Pedro Salinas: “What a great eve this world is!” And he glossed it by saying: “An eve of something very great, which is the fullness of our happiness in the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

He concluded by reading some words that Pope Francis had written to him: “Vatican, 3 July 2022. Dear brother, I want to convey to you the assurance of my prayer and my closeness at this time. I pray for your brother, for you, for the family. May Jesus bless him and our Lady watch over him. Fraternally, Francis.” And the Prelate asked people to pray a lot for the Holy Father and his intentions, in this very difficult situation in which the world finds itself.

José Ocáriz Braña, who died in Barcelona on July 3 at the age of 91, was one of the first professors at the IESE Business School in Barcelona, which he joined in 1963. He was married and had eight children. Among those attending the funeral were former IESE General Directors Carlos Cavallé and Jordi Canals, as well as various fellow faculty members.