Preparation to Eternal Bliss
by: Br. Ronald Calderon
Death is Bliss.
Are you afraid of death? I know some people who do all they can to attain a long and healthy life. They take vitamin supplements, go to the gym and eat healthy. Some even try cosmetic surgery or the controversial stem cell therapy to augment aging or at least conceal its tell-tale signs. Some people are afraid to die because they are worried about their family and loved ones who rely on them. Still others are afraid because they are not yet prepared to let go of their selves and embrace a more Godly life.
From a Christian perspective, death is not really something frightening. It is our transition from an earthly life to a glorious heavenly life. Some Christian thinkers even look at death as our cocoon. After crawling in earthly life that is probably difficult though meaningful, we change into a beautiful butterfly i eternal life. Don’t we believe that in death we attain our fullest freedom, not limited by space and time, not limited by sin and decay, not limited by the world and all its allurements, and join Christ as he reigns in the kingdom of heaven?
In John chapter 14, we are comforted about the reality of separation and death. Christ guarantees that the house of God has plenty of rooms for all those who believe in and follow him. In the second reading, it is made clear that the perfect sacrifice of Christ on the cross is sufficient to reclaim us from our sinful state and make us perfectly acceptable to eternal home. So why do we have to worry about or be afraid of death? Christ promises a more beautiful life for us and the only requirements are faith, love and hope in him who is the way, the truth, and the life. He is enough to make us brave in front of death. But why am i speaking of death when the gospel is really about the second coming of Christ?
Early Christians thought that the second coming of Christ will take place in their lifetime but when it did not come, the religious leaders of the time turned away from a literal understanding of the second coming. In anyone’s lifetime what is imminent is death. This is our closest experience to the second coming of Christ. A truly Christian life is a celebration of life, personal, communal and even ecological, and an anticipation of the fullness of our God’s reign in our lives through our own happy death and rebirth to new life when we will witness the coming of the Son of Man with great power and glory.
So as we celebrate the last week of preparation before Christ the King Sunday, let us reflect on our preparedness in being reborn to new life in Christ. Let us remember that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are waiting for us, cheering us and inspiring us to believe and live courageously to face our blessed death. God is waiting as we get closer to eternity.