From Death Comes Life
(Image courtesy the PMRC.org)
We may forget sometimes that we are living in a world where Jesus has already won victory over death and sin. We are not waiting for this. Further, as Jesus proclaims to Thomas in John 20:29, those “who have not seen and yet believe” are truly blessed. St. Thomas struggles to believe, he initially requires physical evidence to open his eyes to the Truth.
Is that not still true today? So many people seek temporal explanations and so may restrict themselves from fully embracing the Saviour they so desperately need and who longs to be in communion with them.
St. John possibly used the word “believe” in two senses: to trust (as “believe in”) and to hold onto the truth (as “believe (something) about…”). Blessed were those who placed their personal trust in Christ (believe in); they did not need proof of his resurrection, for they knew He is with us. But also blessed are those who hold onto the truths of faith (believe about), for with an open heart they will experience the risen Christ. Belief in these two senses stood against the cynicism found initially in Thomas when Christ appeared after the resurrection and offered all gathered His peace (John 20:19).
The peace Christ gives us can heal the fear and cynicism of the world. This peace builds bridges of trust and allows us to walk together to the Father. His peace allows us to continue to believe. How can we offer the peace of Christ to others in our life this week? When was the last time you truly felt peaceful?
Why do our hearts restlessly seek everlasting peace, enduring joy and beauty? Pope Benedict XVI said “There are certain moments we experience that should last forever, and the fact that they don’t is the great sadness of human life.”
In an Easter message from the Theology of the Body Institute, Dr Christopher West shares his experience at the death bed of his sister. And, drawing on the reflections of Pope Benedict, he frames the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ within human longing for the infinite. Watch the video here.
It is important then, that as we never know the time of our demise, we are as prepared for it as we can be. Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. It marks the culmination of the Easter Octave and is the day Our Lord chose to fulfil the promise of a complete remission of our sins and (unlike ordinary confession) this day further relieves us of all reparation due, thus returning the soul to the purity of its Baptismal state. Today is our window of opportunity if we do as Jesus asks.
Remember that we can also help the souls of others who may die in the coming weeks and months as Jesus told us that when we “say the chaplet (of Divine Mercy) in the presence of the dying, I will stand between my Father and the dying person, not as a just judge but as the merciful Saviour”. Details here.
No one need die in fear. Is there anyone you know who is nearing life’s end and whose soul you might aid by sparing time to do this?
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