Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended."

Life is a wonderful thing. A great gift - the greatest of gifts and blessings - from God. But as good as life in this world is, it is not the highest good - that is, our earthly life is not the be all and end all.

As we reflect on the deaths this year of those close to us and pray for the repose of their souls, including recently Rev. Terry Cramer, we remember that we were made by God for something even better. This is something we cannot lose sight of, especially as we contemplate the horror of the loss of an estimated 10,000 lives in the Philippines in the wake of the typhoon that struck there last week. Rather, as Bishop Paul Loverde reminds us in his recent column,
there is no denying that we are pilgrims in this world, with a final destination elsewhere. Saint Paul likens us to runners in the same race, warning us that we must “Run so as to win” (1 Cor 9:24). Our eyes must be focused on the finish line and what route we are taking to get there. Eternal life is not an abstract concept, but a concrete reality. When we pass from this world, we will find ourselves face-to-face with Jesus Christ, and the manner in which we “ran the race” will determine our final and eternal dwelling. . . .
In Her wisdom, the Church gives us this month of November not only to recall those who have passed before us, but also, to consider how we are “running the race.” As we examine our lives, we should remember that it is never too late to repent in response to God’s love and mercy and desire eternal life with Him in Heaven. The Sacrament of Penance is a treasured gift for all of us, since it offers us divine forgiveness as well as the grace we need to “run so as to win.”

This month also reminds us that we are part of one great Communion of Saints, “a spiritual communion born in Baptism and not broken by death,” Pope Francis tells us. “There is a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world — us — and those who have crossed the threshold of death and entered eternity” (General Audience, October 30, 2013). . . .
Please read the rest of Bishop Loverde's column, Let us not lose sight of eternity, at the Arlington Catholic Herald.

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