While there are many priorities that can seek out attention, the Lord reminds us today that eternal life is greater than all others. With this thought in mind may we keep our eyes fixed on Heaven as we strive to live each day with this final destination before our eyes.
When a grain of wheat falls to the ground it dies, and through this sacrifice of itself it begets new life. Our sacrifices – when directed by the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ – can also become a rich offering to the Lord, who will change and transform us with his gift of life.
St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans that our participation in the life and death of Jesus Christ brings us eternal life. This Good News is our legacy as disciples and our inspiration to offer our lives with the hope and strength of God’s grace.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ includes our journey on earth and our destination in Heaven. As pilgrims passing through this life, we draw near to the Lord in preparation when we will be united completely in his divine love.
We often talk about Heaven in daily language, yet it is easy to take for granted the significance eternal life. Simply put, how we live matters, and when we know that the Lord has more in store for us we discover new strength to face the challenges of life and death as we prepare for God’s everlasting Kingdom.
Let’s take a step back and look at the these readings:
1st – Ezekiel tells the people that the Lord will give them his spirit to rise from their graves
Psalm – “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”
2nd – St Paul states that we will rise from the dead because the Spirit is in us
Gospel – Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead
Life and death. Throughout the readings this week these powerful realities weave together, reminding us that how we live and face our death has eternal consequences.
Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus he consistently taught that our lives provide precious opportunities to serve and care for one another. Forgiveness, mercy, compassion, service, healing and outreach to the poor are themes that surface repeatedly throughout the Gospels. WHAT we do and HOW we do it reveal the depth of our discipleship and our willingness to follow the Lord through this life.
Yet we also know that death is an experience that comes to us all. We have stood at the graves of our loved ones, grieved for those who have gone before us, and dealt with the ache in our hearts when someone we care about is no longer with us. Death reminds us that our opportunity to share our lives on earth has a limit, that we only have so much time on this rock before we are called into eternity.
And the fact that something awaits us after death is a conviction that shapes both how we live and die. God gives us immortal souls, created to be united in the great Heavenly chorus. Yet even this is a choice; out of love the Lord gives us the freedom to choose…will we follow the Lord or a different path?