Of Life Beyond

November 6, 2022 – 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/110622.cfm)

Last week and even week before last, we cannot help but find ourselves thinking about our experiences of death & life. Not only we were remembering our dearly beloved departed brothers & sister, we are also praying for the souls in purgatory & souls of those who have recently died of Covid pandemic, victims of natural disasters, & about all the 150 plus youth who died in Itaewon Stampede for a Halloween party in South Korea. Yes, we cannot help but reflect on such a waste of lives of many young people who are supposed to be enjoying & having fun on a costume party Halloween Event, which they don’t even believe, ending in tragedy on harrowing deaths of plenty.

In such experiences of death, dying & waste of lives nowadays, yes indeed, we do find ourselves questioning about our life as it is & our life yet to come. Somehow, we ask ourselves what is life all about. “Is there a life after death? What happened to those who have died? Was their life sensible before their death? Is our lives now sensible before our death? Is there, are we living or do we have a life before death?”, are just but some questions we are confronted with, as we make sense & find meaning from our recent experiences of loss & grief.

Somehow our readings today are offering us some perspectives as to how we grapple with these questions.

By our faith in God, the witness of suffering & martyrdom of the Maccabeans testify to the reality that there is more to life & death than what we have and are experiencing it. For people of deep faith, there is resurrection, eternal life, and life-beyond life & death. Paul exhorts us faithful people to be steadfast & enduring in our faith in God who loves us dearly & in Jesus who journeys with us in life. And in our gospel today, Jesus is telling & teaching us that resurrection, eternal, life-beyond life & death is not all about who are we married to in life, but moreso about it is about how we have been faithful & fruitful to the life we have committed to in life, since our fullness of joy lies in the full glory of our Lord – not ours, as our Psalms proclaims.

In our life as Christian believers then, we are called not only to be happy and successful, but above all to be faithful & fruitful. Faithfulness & fruitfulness then IS life-all about, and less on our happiness & successes. Our life here & now thus is all about fullness of God glory through the faithful & fruitful witness of all who believes in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Beyond the questions about the meaning of our experiences of life & death while we are still alive here & now, lies the call & challenge for us to be faithful & fruitful in our faith in God. Eternal Life – Life Beyond then is all about God & about how we have been faithful & fruitful in life we are having now.

As once penned by a modern-day spiritual guru Henri Nouwen: “The real question is: “How can I live so that my death will be fruitful for others?” Our life we have here & now then IS OUR CHANCE to do thing right before God & others.

Perhaps while we are still now alive here in this life, consider these very words of St. Paul that inspired one of Pilipino church song entitled: “Pag-aalay ng Puso”:

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now… for I shall not pass this way again….

Minsan lamang ako dadaan sa daigdig na ito, Kaya anumang Mabuti maaring gawin ko ngayon. O anumang kabutihan ang maari kong ipadama, itulot ninyong magawa ko ngayon ang mga bagay na to. Nawa’y hwag ko tong ipagpaliban, O ipagwalang-bahala, sapagkat di na ko muling dadaan sa ganitong mga landas.

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