“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14: 1-3).
All of us have to live dreaming of a life in heaven. Our purpose on earth is to ensure we add riches that will help us attain heaven. A flight before it flies high up in the sky gathers the speed on earth. We are travelers on this earth and we are running a race, a race to reach the heights. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”(2 Timothy 4:7).
Every decision we take and every act we do has an effect on eternity. “Do your work in good time, and in his own time God will give you your reward” (Sirach 51:30). “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelations 22:12).
The month of November is a time for us to ponder about death, a fact which all of us have to face one day. Whether we like it or not death a certainty in everyone’s life. our life, the rat race that we run comes to an end with death. We are relieved of all our commitments but the only thing uncertain about death is the time and hour. Death has always remained a mystery to man. We are so attached to our life that even when we are old and suffering with disease our only prayer is to extend our life by even one day.
The first Christians spent their life time waiting for the second coming of Christ. They realized the path to attaining Christ is suffering and they readily accepted even death with no fear. They were ready to go through any suffering and become martyrs for the sake of Christ and Faith. The Church teaches us to always think about death. When we live understanding the concept of life and death then it will be happy one. Eternal life is dependent on the grace of God.
The life we lead is only a preface to our life in heaven. Jesus showed us the way in the 33 years that he spent on earth. His life was a preface to what is to be expected in heaven. Even on the cross amidst severe pain Jesus was able to commend His spirit to the Father in heaven and attained eternity. He conquered death and through resurrection showed us that there is life after death. In her short 24 years on earth St Little Flower was able to lead a life leading her to attain sainthood and let her be our role model. Let us like St Paul challenge death, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55).
In our race to win over the world let us not forget our souls and we should do everything to save our souls. Because there is nothing more important than our souls. What good is it to us if we achieve all the riches on this earth but lose our souls. We also have a responsibility to save others as well. It is our responsibility to pray for the departed souls. St Little Flower was aware of her responsibility to save the souls from a young age. She started to pray for the conversion of Francine a criminal. She offered Mass and did penance and fasting and prayed for his conversion and soul. Before his death he showed signs of conversion and kissed the cross. St Euphrasia gave up the worldly pleasures and dedicated her life to pray for the souls in purgatory. Let no souls be lost due to our negligence and our disinterest in our prayers.
We go through 4 stages in life childhood, adolescence, youth and old age. We pass through these stages to face death at the end of it. We begin our journey back to the One who sent us. For those who live with God, death is not the end of their life. Death is only a reunion with God. Death is the crown of glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9). Death is a sleep. We seep to rise again energized. We wake up to live with God in His house. The saints while on earth prepared for eternal life. Let us begin our pilgrimage to heaven with the saints.
Fr Boniface Manayathumari CST