By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, email@example.com
March 27, 2020
WE need to strengthen our faith in our life after death. We need to reinforce that belief especially because nowadays there is clearly an ebbing away from that truth of our Christian faith. We tend to get distracted by the things of this world, and worse, to get too attached to them as to ignore our life after death.
The readings of the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A, clearly tell us about this truth. We are meant for eternal life. We are meant for a life with God forever. But we have to be ready for it, deeply realizing that what we have now in our earthly life is precisely the means and the path, not an obstacle, for us to enter into eternal life. We need to see the vital link between time and eternity, the material and the spiritual, the natural and supernatural.
From the Book of Ezekiel, we read: “The Lord Yahweh says this, I am now going to open your graves. I shall raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel.” (37,12) Here, we already have an allusion of the truth about life after death.
This truth is reiterated in the second reading from the Letter to the Romans: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you, then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.” (8,11)
And all this point is rounded off with that beautiful story of the raising of Lazarus where Christ clearly said: “I am the resurrection. Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die…” (Jn 11,25-26)
We need to develop a sense of the eternal life, making ourselves eternity-ready all the time, knowing how to connect our earthly time with the heavenly eternity. We have to constantly remind ourselves of what the Letter to the Hebrews has told us clearly. “We don’t have a permanent city here on earth, but we are looking for the city that we will have in the future.” (13,14)
We have to train our mind and heart, as well as our feelings and senses, to conform themselves to this truth of our faith. In our personal prayers and meditations, let us consider from time to time the reality of heaven and reinforce that primitive yearning we have in our heart for a life without end, for a happiness that has no limits, which can only take place in heaven.
Let us remind ourselves frequently that our faith tells us that we actually come from God, and not just from our parents, and that we are meant to be with God forever in heaven after our earthly sojourn which is meant to test us if we want to be with God or just with ourselves.
We have to learn how to link our earthly time with the eternity of heaven by nourishing our belief that there is God and that he is our Creator who gives us our very existence and that he continually, without any gap or break, is intervening our life. We have to be more aware of this truth, and more importantly, know how to deal with it.
We have to know what is of absolute value in this life and what only has a relative value. We have to be more aware of the ever-abiding providence of God. That way, we would always have optimism despite the difficulties, challenges and possible mistakes we can commit.
Thus, it is important that we know how to pray, how to strengthen our faith, hope and charity, how to relate everything in our life to the ultimate eternal life. We need to be eternity-ready, not just future-ready, with the figurative go-bag always by our side.