None of us expected to be here today. Even with long term suffering, death hits us harder than we expected, and there's a certain finality to death, that we feel like part of our heart is missing; and we desperately seek to get back to normal.
God wants to comfort us today.
If we were living 2000 years ago before Christ, we would be wondering what happens to us after death. Do we just live a certain amount of time on Earth. Is there any possibility of living after death. The First reading said we think they have died but they are truly alive. That’s hard for us to imagine because we are accustomed to seeing something concrete, and then believing, but there is a spiritual world, that we cannot see.
We have the benefit of living after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus- which means that Jesus took away death, when we say, “Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world,” we mean that Jesus took away death, the fear of death, and the guilt of death.
With death, there is always reconciliation which means that we never have to second-guess; we never have to wonder what we could have done or should have done, and we don't have to live with a burden of feeling that we could have done something differently.
Every life is complete whether it is the death of a child, the death of a spouse, the death of a father or mother, God provides the same remedy.
We honor today THOSE WHO died have seen the beatific vision the vision of Jesus and they are at peace.
Peter Phan, a professor at Catholic University,wrote a book “101 questions about death and eternal life.” I thought well that's a good start, 101, because I have three hundred and one questions.
St. Augustine said that those who have died are relieved of the anxieties of Life the anxieties of daily decisions, and they no longer have to face the daily struggles of life.
I learned that in heaven there are no lines at the grocery store; and you don't have to wait for an hour to see a doctor; you don't have to balance your checkbook; and you have don't have to worry any longer about insurance. And I heard that the driving is a lot easier in heaven.
In the Liturgy of the Hours the last intercession in the evening prayer 2 of Week 1; the last of our prayers is “Grant to those who have died, peace, and give us a share in their happiness.” It's the opposite of what we think. While we are left with the mourning, they share the beatific vision; and in the community of saints, they pray for us.
Our souls are created for all eternity and the human person, as the Catholic Church teaches, is one. While the body is temporary here on Earth the soul is created for all eternity and in the resurrection of the body, we will be reunited with our souls. So we are temporarily, physically separated from those we love, but we continue to have a spiritual relationship with them. Now, as we gather in their memory they are present to us at this mass they are present at the altar and they will be at every mess every day around the world until the end of time.
Heaven is the time when we find out that Jesus has been our greatest cheerleader, that he wants us all saved- that’s the Gospel today- and he wants us all to be together. Here are some thoughts:
1) The experience of death that we have all suffered with our loved ones should encourage us to love more deeply. we have learned to mourn; to cry; to sob; to weep, and we have learned to laugh at the same time;
2) Our experience of death should cause us to love more deeply; to appreciate more deeply the time that we have with our love's loved ones on Earth; they can never be exactly repeated.
3) There's a certain amount of comfort in knowing that someone has successfully completed their lives on Earth
4) The physical presence of the Eucharist should give us the comfort of knowing that Jesus is physically present
In the Hail Mary, we say, “pray for me now and at the hour of my death,” so we know that every Hail Mary we say is repeated at the hour of our death and that we never die alone. This is a good time to start saying our Hail Mary’s.
It is good for us to be here. Throughout our lives we celebrate the future- because the resurrection of Jesus has changed our perspective in life - after the resurrection when Jesus said to the Apostles, “peace be with you,” he was forgiving them; he was forgetting the wrongs they had done, and he was looking forward to the life ahead.
We always have transitions in life; we are born we love our families look forward to celebrating birthdays; when we are baptized,we look forward to the life ahead of us; when we graduate, we look forward to something better; when we are married we look forward to living our lives together; we always look to the Future why should death be any different, we are looking forward to our life in communion with those who have died; to be closer to the church; to be closer to Jesus; to understanding in a deeper way, the Blessed Mother and her sorrows and her joy; to better understand our lives in heaven; the glorious Resurrection of the Dead; we will all be celebrating at the supper of the Lamb at the end of time.
None of us expected to be here today but we should expect that we can live our lives so that we may live for all eternity in the peace and communion with Jesus. Despite our sorrow, today is a good day. We are praying for them, and they are praying for us.