A definite thing about life is death. Saints and sinners, kings and paupers, all are subject to its inexorable law. Poets have waxed eloquent on the subject: “Golden lads and girls all must/As chimney-sweepers come to dust,” wrote Shakespeare.
Yet most of us pursue with relentless intensity the elusive phantom of success, wealth, and fame, as if these will last forever. Death is pushed away from consciousness because we fear the end.
The day’s readings abound with joy and hope. The Book of Wisdom says that immortality is the source of that hope. Hope is described as “faith in the infinite goodness of God and belief in His promises.” In the letter to the Romans, St. Paul describes the salvific plan of God: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Therefore, we can experience love, acceptance, forgiveness, and eternal bliss in the family of God. Blessings in abundance, faith for the faithful, and grace and mercy are promised to God’s people. Grace is the gift we do not deserve. Mercy, is when we DON’T get what we deserve for our sins. Rescued from our sin through the blood of the Lamb, we can trust in God’s infinite mercy, surrender ourselves, and be open to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In John 6, the Lord Jesus promises that none will be lost, but will be “raised up at the last day.”
Death leads to eternal life. “Even though I walk in the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” – sang the psalmist. Having this multitude of promises from the Universal God, who has deigned to invite us into His family, surely we have no cause to fear death, which is the gateway to eternal bliss. With John Donne, we can declare, “One short sleep, we wake eternally/And Death shall be no more/Death, thou shalt die.”
Christ has conquered the last enemy, so we can triumphantly ask, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Prayer: Abba Father, eternal rest grant unto your faithful. We look to the day when we are united with them in Christ. Amen.
Source : On our Knees publication