And Then A New Beginning

26 Jul

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.”  ~ Louis L’Amour

The anniversary of Fr. McGrogan’s death comes up this Saturday.  He was one of our diocesan priests who was big into supporting Catholic Education.  He was also a pastor at some of our larger parishes with schools.  His wit was well known amongst his brother priests.  It was dry and acerbic and to the point.

I remember a particular Priests’ Council meeting that had turned quite contentious. The priests were arguing with each other and with the bishop as they struggled to resolve a situation.  The meeting went well over the scheduled time. Just when we thought we had reached a solution, someone interjected another thought and the room blew up again.  People were talking over each other and it was at that point that you could see Fr. McGrogan lean back in his seat and,  in his gravelly voice, state, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”

He was so right and he was so wrong.  Yes, it’s true in one sense that it’s not over until it’s over.  However, for Christians, there is another sense.  When it’s over, it’s just beginning for, at the end of our lives, we have the opportunity to step into eternal life.

That is the “over” we should be preparing ourselves to embrace.  The end of our lives should not be feared and avoided like the plague.  The end of our lives should be welcomed and embraced because it is only at the end of our mortal, earthly life that we enter into a new and eternal life.

Throughout the ages, people have feared death.  They have looked for solutions to live longer and even to live forever. Death has been visualized as an enemy and as something to fear.  That concept of death is a great disservice to us.  It almost makes us fear God because, in one sense, we want to see Him and live with Him but in another sense, we do not want to die in order to see Him and live with Him.

Yes.  It ain’t over til it’s over.  Until that time, we have a full life to live.  We have to embrace the challenge of Jesus to proclaim His Good News to the ends of the world.  We have to live in faithful and loving service to one another.  We have to be a people of peace, mercy, love, and justice because that it what the Lord wants of us and that is what will most please the Lord.

That way, when it’s over, we get to begin again and forever.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God to give you the grace that you need to remain faithful to Him in this life so as to be prepared for eternal life.