Tag Archives: afterlife

The Souls of the Righteous

The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and the pain of death shall not touch them.
To the eyes of the foolish, they seemed to perish, but they are in peace.

–Words: Widsom 3:1-3
–Music: Geraint Lewis (born 1958)

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Lenten Reflection – Day 31

The Gospel story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-45) is a strange one, for many reasons. What I find most strange, but also most interesting, is that Jesus is told that “the one whom you love is ill.” Upon hearing this, Jesus doesn’t immediately go to Bethany to see his friend…he stays two days longer with his disciples. Upon his arrival in Bethany, he consoles his friends Martha and Mary. He goes to the tomb of Lazarus with Mary and Martha, and he, too, begins to weep. Several times, the Gospel says “he was greatly disturbed.”

This Gospel reading gives us a rare glimpse of Jesus…a one in which we see Jesus’s humanity expressed in several ways: his love for his friend, his being “greatly disturbed”, and in his consoling of his friends, showing compassion for his friends grief.

I think in this story, we are shown that it is OK to mourn the loss of friends and family whom we have lost in death. But, we are also called to hope and joy for the day when we will be reunited with them in eternal life. We are called with Jesus to mourn when we lose a loved one to death, but also we are called with Jesus to be joyful in anticipation of the day when we will all be raised from the grave, like Lazarus, and reunited with our loved ones for eternity.

Thanks be to God!

Lazarus

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Lenten Reflection – Day 30

Peccantem me quotidie, et non me paenitentem, timor mortis conturbat me: Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio, miserere mei, Deus, et salva me. –Choral piece by Cristóbal Morales (c. 1500–1553), video below

While I am sinning every day, and yet do not repent, the fear of death overwhelms me. For in hell there is no redemption. Have mercy on me, God, and save me.

It’s a crazy thing to think about…all of the opportunities we have in this lifetime. All of the beauty for us to experience in God’s creation. Some people live their lives without a second thought of life after death, or about how the decisions they make in this life might affect them, or their neighbor, or the next life. Others live their lives in constant fear, hesitant to go outside of their comfort zones or even to leave their immediate communities. Yet others live with a balance between both of those realities. It is an eery thing to think about all of the opportunities we have in this lifetime…to think that when we die, those opportunities will be gone. What influences how you make your decisions? Do you think about how your decisions affect others, or how things might be in the afterlife?

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Lenten Reflection – Day 29

My faith looks up to thee,
thou Lamb of Calvary,
Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray;
take all my guilt away;
O let me from this day
be wholly thine!

May thy rich grace impart
strength to my fainting heart,
my zeal inspire;
as thou hast died for me,
O may my love to thee
pure, warm, and changeless be,
a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread
and griefs around me spread,
be thou my guide;
bid darkness turn to day;
wipe sorrow’s tears away;
nor let me ever stray
from thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
when death’s cold, sullen stream
shall o’er me roll;
blest Savior, then, in love,
fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
a ransomed soul!

–Words: Ray Palmer (1808-1887)
–Music: OLIVET, by Lowell Manson (1792-1872)

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Lenten Reflection – Day 16

Talking about the afterlife is not something people often like to do. There are no scientifically proven certainties…there is only the witness of the prophets and of the Gospels that give us a glimpse into what the afterlife might be like. This is not a topic I often think about…I try and spend more of my prayer and reflection in thinking about this life and how I might more fully engage God and the world for the better and glory of God’s sacred creation. However, in my Lenten Reflection series this year, I’ve posted a few things that ponder the afterlife (including yesterday’s post). I wanted to share this thought-provoking image I came across on Facebook the other week…this is another beautiful way of imagining what heaven might be like.

Heaven?

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Lenten Reflection – Day 15

Since the weather has gradually been getting warmer, I have started taking my dog, Fritz, to a local dog park. Each visit is quite an experience! When a dog enters the park, all of the dogs run over to greet the dog. They go through the ritual of sniffing each other in the good spots, of nudging with their nose, some bark, some try and jump on the other. But it’s almost always a communal rejoicing…like the dogs communally say “YAY! Another friend is here to play!” Each time we go to the dog park, it makes me instantly smile at the simple joy that these beautiful creatures have in their lives. And I can’t help but think…this must be what entering heaven will be like! All of the saints will rejoice at the arrival of a new soul…and there will be no end to that joy. Of course, nobody really knows what heaven is like. But, I think that metaphor must be as close to what heaven is like as anything. Eternally rejoicing in the reunion of the ones who have gone before with their loved ones newly joining. All of creation will rejoice on that day!

The dog park

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