LK 20: 27-38



After having the unique privilege of living through a worldwide pandemic, we can say that our generation is no longer a stranger to death. Young and old have experienced its horrors as we read in the news the escalating number of casualties each day. Then the reality moved closer to home as we lost people we know or people we love. Just as the survivors of the Spanish flu would forever tell their stories of struggle and survival, so we shall perhaps also do as long as we live.


This exposure to death made many people paranoid: afraid of going out, meeting people, or feeling any related symptoms. A friend developed an allergy to sanitary alcohol due to constant and vigorous use. We have developed a heightened concern for our health and well-being. We developed a new appreciation for our earthly life.


As Christians however, has there been an adequate reflection on the event of death? For many of us, death is a waste of precious talent and resource. It is a big loss of opportunity to be productive and participative in society. It is a fearful separation from friend and kin. As my former spiritual director used to remind me, death is the “final farewell.”


Today the Lord Jesus revises our commonplace views. Death is not a crossing into oblivion, irrelevance, or nothingness. The One who awaits us in death is the “God of the living” and with him, we will all be alive.” Death, therefore, is a return to the God who sent us out into the world at our birth. Returning to him will be an experience of abundant rest, joy, and peace. Most of all, Jesus reminds us, that death is not destruction but a herald of true and everlasting life.


Our recent experiences have trained us for survival. We have been trained to avoid death, hoping that our efforts will successfully prolong life on earth. However, that is just half of the story. As Christians, there is a more important task, and that is, to be prepared to positively and encouragingly prepare for death. One day, we will surely return to the Father’s home to forever dwell in his loving embrace.


This is a hard challenge, one that we so easily dismiss or ignore. But we take the Lord Jesus at his word. He is preparing a room for us in the heavenly mansion, our true home. As we joyfully embrace life on earth, let us yearn for the life beyond what we now see and experience. Amen.