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Faith: Knowing we won’t be alone at death

CIERPIENIE

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 11/02/22

Jesus entered history so that none of us can ever again say we are alone, even at the last moment of our lives.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

Death is a great wall which we all run up against. In it we experience not simply the idea that our lives end in a definitive way, but also the realization of our greatest fear: that of being radically alone. 

Jesus in today’s Gospel uses a significant image precisely in this regard: losing nothing of what he holds in his hands.

“And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day.”

Faith means feeling that you are in the hands of Someone whom you trust will not let go, especially when all else fails. Even before believing in the resurrection, each of us must be able to believe that at the very moment of death we are not alone. Jesus entered history so that none of us can ever again say we are alone, even at the last moment of our lives.

The resurrection reminds us that our destiny is not death but life, although it will be a life completely different from the one we have known. Just as the grain of wheat dies and gives birth to the ear of wheat, so the ending of our life initiates something unimaginable compared to what we know of life itself. 

What we need is not to exercise our imagination, but to cultivate a great trust in the mystery of this destiny that is already active within us. In fact, eternal life doesn’t begin afterwards, but is already at work within us. It’s a question of whether we’re fostering it or not.

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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DiscipleshipGospelSpiritual Life
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