Tuesday, November 10, 2015

No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.

"...if you believe that you must die, that there is an eternity, that you can die only once, and that if you then err your error will be forever, irreparable, why do you not resolve to begin at this moment, to do all in your power to secure a good death?..." - St. Alphonsus di Liguori: (1696 – 1787: Was an Italian Catholic bishop, spiritual writer, composer, scholastic philosopher, and theologian.)

Scripture Text: (Wis 2:23–3:9)
God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.
The reading from the Book of Wisdom today reminds us that heaven is our true home. St. Francis of Assisi proclaimed this as he praised God for “Sister Bodily Death,” saying, “Happy are those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.”

If you have lost a loved one recently, let today’s reading bring you comfort. As you go through the process of grieving, know that the pain won’t last forever. Stay close to Jesus, and know that a life lived for him in this world is not all that far from the heavenly life he has in store for you. Interestingly, the more you can do that, the more “imperishable” you become. You build a legacy of love and care that is more meaningful than any physical monument, accolade, or award, and people will remember you long after you are gone. And if we can all build that kind of legacy, who knows what might happen?

I suspect we may bring about the kingdom of God on this earth.

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