Lord, may we long to be with Christ

Lord, as we grow old and face the inevitability of death, may we long to be with Christ, “a better thing and by far a better thing”.

Lord, may we long to be with Christ

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
Wis. 1:13-15; 2:23-24 Ps. 30(29):2,4,5-6,11-12a,13b
2 Cor. 8:7,9,13-15 Mk. 5:21-43 (or 21-24,35-43)   (Ps Wk I)

The Book of Wisdom teaches that there is no logic in thinking of God as “the author of death.” Death is not a problem that we can solve: it is rather a mystery which we must inevitably face. The enlightenment of our faith and the steadfastness of our hope helps us face death and its inevitability with courage and serenity, even with longing and positive acceptance. Faced with the possibility of death in prison, St Paul affirmed: “I long to be gone and to be with Christ, a better thing and by far a better thing” (Phil 1:21). Any terror that death might bring is dissolved in the certainty that to be with Christ is “a better thing and by far a better thing.”

Our faith has long taught us that suicide is a serious sin, but that is not the whole story. We have no right to take our own lives, but in Christ Jesus and through the mystery of his death and resurrection, we have the right to die: death is a great grace of God when it comes. We are not condemned to live in this world forever.

Lord, as we grow old and face the inevitability of death, may we long to be with Christ, “a better thing and by far a better thing”.

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