Submitted by Thomas Stidl
In the beginning of December, I celebrated that another year had passed. On this particular birthday, I entered into my Sabbath rest years. To be more specific, I just turned 70 years of age. At this time, I would like to reflect on my birthdays on the decades, i.e. 10, 20, 30, etc.
When I celebrated my 10th birthday, I thanked Almighty God that President Kennedy ended the Cuban Missile Crisis without nuclear war. At my 20th birthday I said good-bye to my maternal grandmother who joined my grandfather who I never knew in the afterlife. That was the end of Grandpa’s peace and quiet!!! On my 30th birthday, my father had begun the next phase of his life as he became slowly weaker and would eventually pass on to eternal life when I was 32. Dad’s older brother passed also that year on Christmas Eve, 1985.
At age 40 my job was to be the glue that held the family together. My brother moved to Florida when his company relocated. Mom and I still lived in New Jersey. It was difficult but we managed to get together as a family at least once a year even as my mother grew weaker. At age 50, I was preparing to say my final good-bye to Mom who left for heaven on December 26, 2002.
At age 60, I was preparing to welcome back my brother to New Jersey after his second wife divorced him in 2013. I was shocked when I had to say my final good-bye to him on December 29, 2013. After that event in my life, I prepared for semi-retirement.
At age 70, where I am now, I prepare to meet Our Dear Lord by either death or the second coming of Jesus. I also hope to be reunited with my family at the throne of God. Why did I mention all that family history? I have given my life in service to my family. I deeply miss them especially at this time of the year.
But enough about my birthdays, in a day or so we will celebrate the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are we ready? Are we ready to meet him in the air? Do we follow the commands to love God with all that we have and our neighbors as ourselves? Are we just lukewarm in our faith? If we are only lukewarm as per the book of Revelations, we become God’s vomit!!
Let us make amends for what we have done wrong especially to our families. Let us make a resolution to love God and love all people. Be patient and forgiving of all. Let us all become the glue that holds our families together, our Church together, our nation together, and our world together.
See what happens when you look back over 70 years of life. You begin to look forward to your final destiny, to be happy with God forever in heaven even if it means some time in purgatory.
Until next time, Laus Tibi, Christe. Deo Gratias. Praise be to God. See you in Paradise.