Psalm 34:2-3, 16-19
God formed man to be imperishable. (Wisdom 2:23)
As anyone who has suffered the death of a loved one can tell you, loss can be very painful. It’s hard to lose someone you love. Your lives have been deeply intertwined, and tearing one away can feel like it will be the end of both. But the truth is that death is not our enemy. God made us for eternal life, and even though it is very difficult to lose someone, our grief speaks to us of our hope for eternal life.
We all experience grief; it’s a natural and healthy response to loss. It makes us feel lonely, abandoned, and forgotten. But that’s not the end of our story. Grief is a process we go through; it’s a phase, not a destination. It is meant to bring us, over time, to peace. As time passes, the hope of heaven shines more and more brightly, and our pain and loss slowly diminish. As we draw closer to the Lord, holding on to the truths of who we are and what we were made for, the veil between this life and the next becomes thinner and thinner—to the point that we begin longing for the Second Coming.
That’s why these words from the Book of Wisdom are so comforting. They remind us that heaven is our true home. They tell us that our loved ones are precious to God, and having passed through bodily death, they have the joys of heaven. St. Francis of Assisi proclaimed this as he praised God for “Sister Bodily Death,” saying, “Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.”
If you have lost a loved one recently, let today’s reading bring you comfort. As you go through the process of grieving, know that the pain won’t last forever. Stay close to Jesus, and know that a life lived for him in this world is not all that far from the heavenly life he has in store for you.
“Lord Jesus, I believe that death is not my enemy because you have defeated it! Help me stay close to you so that I can experience your eternal life.”~WAU