PAMPANGA

Del Rosario: On death and expiry dates

My Dearest

(My sharing on the 4th station of the cross)

DO YOU check the expiration dates of the food you buy? Breads especially have short life span. Therefore, as much as possible, we buy the newly baked ones, with a little longer “best before” dates. We can prolong it a little by freezing. But, if we want them fresh, we eat them right away.

Well, unfortunately, our lives have expiry dates, too. The problem is, we do not know how long actually our life span is. Maybe we can prolong our life by not abusing our bodies with very little sleep, too much alcohol or cigarettes, by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Still, the fact is, we are never in full in control. Accidents can happen. When? We don’t know. Only God does. Only He knows when our time is up, when our “expiry dates” are due.

In the Station IV of the way of the cross, Jesus was met by His Blessed Mother. Their eyes in deep sorrow met. I can only just imagine how Mama Mary must have felt. Being a mother myself, any little pain that any of my four children feels, I feel. Maybe, sometimes, even more intensely. But, Mama Mary is not just any mother, she IS the mother of Jesus, our Savior. She must have felt the piercing of the sword in her soul, as was mentioned in the Bible. And she was there for Jesus, till the end. Just as you and I, fellow mothers, are always there for our children. She continues to intercede for us, now, and at the hour of our death.

But, death comes to all of us, like a thief in the night. We need to prepare for its coming. The meditation shared by Father Vic Santos on the 4th station struck me as a very good reminder for all of us to make the best use of the little ”consumable” time we have here on earth. We need to put the gifts and talents God has given us into the best use. Are we living according to the purpose God has for each of us? Do we even know our life’s purpose? It’s not the length of time that matters after all, it’s whether we lived and loved as Jesus did, no matter our life’s expiry dates.

It may seem morbid to talk or often think about death, but the reality is, in order to put our spiritual priorities right, we need to frequently think about our “expiration dates”. Yes, indeed, death is inevitable. But, we also need to think of death as the doorway to eternal life. Father Vic said, with this in mind, we do not have to fear death.

My Dearest SunStar Readers,

Do we not have to fear death? Well, I don’t know about you. But, it’s so much easier said than done.

I guess, the only way we can be less scared of death is if we live our lives like the saints did. Father shared the story of St. Francis who was asked this question. “What would you do if you find out that you are to die at sunset?” The Saint’s answer was to finish working in the garden.

This clearly meant that he was soooo ready to face death. He did not need to make any last minute preparations that we would probably have thought of if we were asked this question. Say our goodbyes. Ask forgiveness from people we’ve hurt. Forgive those who hurt us. Pay our debts. Right the wrongs we did. Fix broken relationships. Go to confession. So many more.

Saint Francis’ everyday life was lived in preparation for that day, when he entered eternal life. And because of that, I believe he was certain and thus excited to meet Jesus, past the gate of death, into the Heavenly Home.

Where will our eternal life be? I know where I want to go. I’m certain that’s where God wants you and I to all go. Are we willing to follow the examples of Jesus, Mama Mary, and the saints?

“May life find us preparing, that death will find us prepared.”


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