“Death” Is it too real to talk about?
At a funeral Mass, the priest/deacon sprinkles holy water on the coffin and says these words; “In the waters of baptism (Name) died with Christ and rose with him to new life. May he/she now share with him eternal glory.”
During our baptism, at the anointing with Chrism, the celebrant says, “May almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given you a new birth by means of water and the Holy Spirit and forgiven all your sins, (here he anoints) anoint you with the Chrism of salvation in the same Christ Jesus our Lord, so that you may have everlasting life.”
In both cases we are reminded that this human life is temporary. We were created to be with God for all eternity. Everlasting life is our forethought, but reality sets in once a loved one passes.
When you lose a close relative, as we did with Paul our son last January, your thoughts present numerous images as to what happens with our soul. All we have to hold on to is our faith. We go through the motions, friends attending the viewing, funeral and final burial. Grief follows and does not let go to quickly. What just happened was the outcry of parents, siblings, and friends. It is usually too soon, too quick, and too often a search for answers no one can give.
Death was not the end of life when Jesus hung on the Cross. He gave himself up for us and the ultimate glory through his Resurrection redeemed each of us. Death was also not the end of life for Paul or any of your relatives that have passed too suddenly. It will not be the end for us if we believe and acknowledge our eternal God. In him will we find life does not end; it just allows us to find what we’ve believed and lived. Envision when we close our eyes for the last time, and are able to step across a threshold into a dimension unseen by those still here, and into a new life promised at our baptism, and reiterated at our funeral.
Is death too real to talk about? Absolutely not!
Ralph B. Hathaway, February 2021