Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus,
On the 1st November we celebrated All Saints Day, whereas on the 2nd we kept the Commemoration of All Souls in purgatory. Traditionally, in November we often remember our departed dear ones, visit their tombs and we pray & offer Holy Masses for them. Seen from this point of view, particularly this month, reminds us of death and of importance of preparing ourselves worthily so that we may meet the Lord when He calls us to life eternal. But the questions is:
Am preparing myself to meet the Lord? Do my choices made in freedom enable me for this?
The gospel focuses on the Last Judgment, which each one of us must one day experience. In fact, the first reading reminds us to seek truth, which of course means living with an eye toward Jesus’ Second Coming and Judgement.
God has entrusted us in this life with the power to make of ourselves what we aspire to be forever. We do this by virtue of our free will. To live is to make choices. We can either choose God and His Word as our ultimate wisdom; or, in our God-given freedom, we can place our highest priorities somewhere else. Death marks the final free choice in a pilgrimage of choices leading to a future: with God or without God.
Our Faith as Catholics tells us that life without God is meaningless. We were created by God for God and our destiny is to be with Him forever. Outside of Him there can be no personal fulfillment, no lasting peace, no real happiness. In fact, all other goals (attractive as they may seem to the senses, and even at times to the intellect) will shatter and vanish forever like so much cheap broken glass swept away for disposal.
Since death is the last free choice in our journey to God (a journey during which the living Lord Jesus is constantly at the side of anyone who sincerely calls on Him), it represents the summit of a series of elections taken God-ward. For that reason, it is both anticipated and prepared for throughout life. This is to say that, when we are about to die, we will be the kind of persons we have aspired to be at the moment of death. Thus, the way we have lived our commitment as Christians made in baptism and confirmed later in life, describes in general the way we shall die. Specifically, the way we have participated in Sunday Mass, received the Eucharist; the way we have tried to remain faithful to our state of life (in marriage or vows or ministry); the way we have tried to share our faith; the way we have seen Christ in others: in this same way we shall die.
The early Church Fathers used to emphasise that the moment we are born, we begin to die to this world in order to be born again to eternal life. One might say that in death we finally achieve the mould/matrix we cast for ourselves, by ourselves, through roads freely travelled, graces embraced, hopes grasped, despite the difficulties.
Dear brethren, as Christians, we need not look to the future with unnecessary anxiety or worry, but trust in the Lord and make right & wise choices here and now so that, we may keep our lamps burning to meet the Lord when He comes or calls us. Have a Meaningful Weekend!