Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him. (Heb 9:27-28)
In my almost thirty years as a priest, I would have to say that the one thing that appears to frighten people more than anything else is death.
I see it, over and over again, when gathering with people who are terminal or with families preparing to bury their dead.
However, if we are realists, we must admit that death is very much a part of life — a necessary part of our lives — and something that should not be feared.
Because it is not the end.
It is the beginning of a new and eternal life.
In the letter to the Hebrews, this thought has been building over the past week or so.
Jesus came — and died — so that He could restore eternal life to His people, “to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.”
There are lots of things that we want in life. When we are very young, those things were stuffed animals and toys of all sorts. As we got older, those desires included friends, prestige, and the like.
When we get closer to our death, our attention naturally turns to our ultimate desire: eternal life with Christ. That is why, after all, He came among us.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who are terminally ill, particularly those who fear their impending death, that they may embrace the peace that Christ came to bring.