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Many in the tech world are looking for cures for old age. They want to live forever on earth, prolonging their life past 100 years.
Pope Benedict XVI questions this quest for “immortality” in a homily for Easter in 2010.
Man’s resistance to death becomes evident: somewhere – people have constantly thought – there must be some cure for death. Sooner or later it should be possible to find the remedy not only for this or that illness, but for our ultimate destiny – for death itself. Surely the medicine of immortality must exist. Today too, the search for a source of healing continues. Modern medical science strives, if not exactly to exclude death, at least to eliminate as many as possible of its causes, to postpone it further and further, to prolong life more and more. But let us reflect for a moment: what would it really be like if we were to succeed, perhaps not in excluding death totally, but in postponing it indefinitely, in reaching an age of several hundred years? Would that be a good thing?
He then goes on to explain why living on earth for a long time is a bad idea.
Humanity would become extraordinarily old, there would be no more room for youth. Capacity for innovation would die, and endless life would be no paradise, if anything a condemnation. The true cure for death must be different. It cannot lead simply to an indefinite prolongation of this current life.
Living forever on this earth would essentially prolong all the bad things about being human, such as suffering, war, violence and anxiety.
People would become even more entrenched in their viewpoints and wars would go on for centuries with the same leaders. Totalitarians would reign over their countries for generations and generations.
Instead, the solution, as Pope Benedict explains, is a “new” life.
It would have to transform our lives from within. It would need to create a new life within us, truly fit for eternity: it would need to transform us in such a way as not to come to an end with death, but only then to begin in fullness. What is new and exciting in the Christian message, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, was and is that we are told: yes indeed, this cure for death, this true medicine of immortality, does exist. It has been found. It is within our reach. In baptism, this medicine is given to us. A new life begins in us, a life that matures in faith and is not extinguished by the death of the old life, but is only then fully revealed … Indeed, the cure for death does exist. Christ is the tree of life, once more within our reach. If we remain close to him, then we have life.
If we want to “live forever,” we need to go to the true “tree of life,” Jesus Christ, who opens to us a realm of immortality that is life-giving.
Life in Heaven will be nothing like life on earth. It will be a place without tears, wars, violence or anxiety.
It is a place of everlasting peace, not simply a prolongation of our wounded earth.