“Our life is changing, but it doesn't end "
In television programs or in sensational films, you often watch scenes depicting the death of one or more people. Do you realise, that this is just a play by the actors. And were you with the man, who died with you ?
The seriousness of death
Every person's life ends in death. “All flesh grows old like clothing, and that is the eternal law : you will surely die " (Cheese 14, 17). Death meets adults, but often also young people, and even children. It comes unexpectedly. It often takes a person to their full strength, just then, when he finished his studies or got a job and was about to start working. Sometimes he tears off a man in the middle of his work. Sometimes death takes away the father or mother from small children. Survivors lose a loved one. Children lose these, who would put them into practice. Parents lose their son or daughter, with whom they hoped for the future and expected care for their old age. Colleagues lose a friend, society is losing scientists, activists and workers. Therefore, it is man who views death as the greatest evil. He fights with it and tries to delay it as much as possible. Despite the progress of science and the wonderful development of medicine, man is still powerless in the face of death. Many people are bitter and pessimistic about this. They ask themselves : is there anyone, who managed to overcome death ? Is death the end of everything for man? ?
Christ is our resurrection and life
During funeral rites, the priest is dressed in purple robes, which means hope and longing, reading the Gospel of St.. Jana :
"And when Martha found out, that Jesus is coming, she went out to meet him. Maria, on the other hand, was sitting at home. Martha said to Jesus : «Lord, if you were here, my brother wouldn't die. But I know now, that God will give you everything, for whatever you ask God ». Jesus said to her : "Your brother will rise again". Martha said to him : " I know, that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day ». Jesus said to her : «I am the resurrection and the life. Who believes in me, even if he died, will live. Each, who lives and believes in me, he will not die forever. You believe in that ? »” (J 11, 20-26).
Christ is "resurrection and life". Who Believes in Jesus, will live, though he will die. Christ also traveled along this path. He voluntarily submitted to the law of death. His death on the cross was painful and hard, like the death of other people. But on the third day, Christ rose from the dead, "To enter his glory" (Luke 24, 26). Thus, Christ conquered death (by. 1 Disease 15, 22). For Christ, death was a transition, back to the Father, to be with Him forever and be glorified, which the Father has prepared for him. Christ was the first of the new creation to die, over whom death will no longer have power (by. 1 Disease 15 ; Rz 6, 9).
A Christian united by baptism to Christ, lives with him on earth and shares his hardships and sufferings with him. Death for a Christian is as painful as it is for other people, but she is guided by the hope of a resurrection. Christian, united to Christ in this life, he is united to him also in death and, like Christ, passes from earth to the Father, to be united with him forever.
The dying person is given a candle. You remember, that every Christian also received a lighted candle at baptism as a sign of his participation in God's life, which he is to keep to his encounter with God at the time of death.
During funeral rites, next to the coffin with the body of the deceased, lights up the paschal, to remind you again, that Christ, who died and rose for us, it is the source of true and eternal life. The dying person joins the risen Christ himself by receiving the viaticum, i.e. Holy Communion, on the way of eternity. Giving him viaticum, the priest says : "Receive, brother (sister), viaticum of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, let him keep you from the evil enemy and lead you to eternal life. "
How will I answer God ?
Death for a Christian is tragic and sad, but not hopeless. It is enlightened by faith in the universal resurrection. This hope is expressed in the purple color of the vestments, lighting the Paschal candle and Easter singing "Hallelujah" during the funeral.
How should I view death as a Christian ? Which will be my consolation and hope, when I face the death of my loved ones or my own ?
I express my gratitude for the resurrection hope in the words of a song :
"Is expensive, which guides us, Alleluia,
To the goal, where time is running out, Alleluia.
I want to walk by your side and I cry :
God, guide me. Alleluia. Alleluia.
And though he will come through the darkness, Alleluia
Every step is supported by your love, Alleluia.
At your side…
And the light, which shines in the distance, Alleluia,
He tells me about your love. Alleluia.
At your side…”
(Muse. and words : pcs. Alfred Flury ; crowd. pcs. Sierla).
■ Think :
1. Why is death something tragic for man? ?
2. What Christ taught us through the resurrection of Lazarus ?
3. How in the funeral rites the Church emphasizes, that Christ is the hope of our resurrection ?
■ Remember :
57. “I am the resurrection and the life… who believes in me, will not die forever ".
■ Task :
1. Which at the death of a Christian and at his funeral is an expression of our faith in eternal life ?
2. Read the inscriptions on the tombstones and write them down, which you consider to be the most Christian.