Memento Mori! *

“Remember you will die!*

Just after Terra Sancta Retreat Center opened, I was asked to be part of a committee charged with brainstorming ideas for events that could be held there.  As people talked, some members suggested a series of educational workshops that could be held 4, 5 or 6 years into the future.  Another member exclaimed, “I can’t think that far into the future.  I don’t even buy green bananas for fear I might not live long enough to eat them!”  We all chuckled at the time, and I was reminded of it again this past week when I had the opportunity to visit with Deacon Sass.  He shared with me that more and more he finds himself emphasizing in homilies and in conversations the importance of looking towards eternity, of re-focusing ourselves on what lies ahead and making decisions for today based on that long-term thinking.  

The line from the popular Michael W. Smith song “Above All” also ran through my mind with Good Friday so recently passed:  “He lived to die.”  Sometimes, I think we hear or read this line with the sense that if Jesus just lived to die, his time here on earth was somehow less worthwhile.  However, doesn’t it make more sense to think that because Jesus always had his eyes fixed on eternity, that each moment of his life in time took on a sense of the eternal and therefore becomes infinitely valuable? Not only did he, in some sense, bring eternity into time because he was fully God, but even in his humanity, he perfectly lived the virtue of doing all things with the eternal consequences in mind.  With clarity he could measure the worth of his actions in the light of eternity.  

As his disciples, we are invited to follow in His footsteps, not just gaining knowledge from Him, but imitating him in all ways.  In this Octave, when we celebrate the Risen Lord, let us imitate his vision, always looking towards our final destination–heaven –evaluating our choices today in light of eternity. 

The question I am challenged to ask is, “If I die tomorrow, will I regret the choices I made today?”

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