title : August 4th, 2019 Mass Sermon of 8th Sunday after Pentecost, by Fr Picot
name : silviadate : 2019-08-07 11:30:15hits : 62
 8th Sunday after Pentecost

August 4th, 2019

 

Dear Faithful,
Death can be compared to the Red Sea Crossing. The Just men who follow the New Moses pass through this impressive way and enter the Holy Land of Heaven. The wicked who pursue Christ with an unjust hatred go too through the same way yet they meet there eternal death. Let us consider what is the death of the saints. This will give a greater desire to live like them in order to die like them.

In the Gospel we read that the first resurrection worked by Jesus Christ was in Galilee in favor of the daughter of Jair. Jair, an officer of the king, came to Jesus begging Him to come and heal his daughter. As the afflicted father was still with Jesus his servants rushed to him saying that the girl was dead. But Jair said: “Lord, come and impose your hands upon her and she shall live.”

Entering in Jair’s house, Jesus found the family and friends mourning with loud cries. He made them stop saying: “Why do you cry? This girl simply sleeps.” And taking her by the hand, He brought her back to life.

This was the simple story of the miracle. Here is now the meaning, the teaching contained into it.

1) First, Jesus used this miracle to teach us that the death of the Just is a sleep. He said: “The young girl is not dead but she sleeps.” The death of Just is a sleep because the same body, now deprived of life, will rise again full of eternal life on the Last Day. The physical death is not the real and definitive death. It is simply a passage. And for the Just it is a passage onto a better and eternal life. St. Therese of the Child Jesus wrote a few days before dying: “I do not die, I enter into life.” And while the soul enters the joy of Heaven, the body is put to rest into the soil till it will wake up on the Last Day.

2) Second, Jesus also teaches us that the death of the Just is without torments. The book of wisdom says: “The Just are in the hand of the Lord and the torments of death shall not hurt them.”

Of course, the Just like all other men suffer more or less according to the will of God when they die. They know the pains of sickness; some of them suffered martyrdom other long and excruciating illness. Yet their death is without torments because through suffering they increase, intensify their union with Christ, the love of their life.

3) Third, Jesus teaches us that the Just dies without regrets for this world. They are really like a child exhausted by a long day of work who longs after the time he will be allowed to sleep.

Thus the Just, exhausted by a life devoted to good works, tired of the wicked men of the world, has not the smallest regret for this earthly life. He knows by the faith he is simply going to rest in the Lord.

However, some Just might experience great fear at the time of death. Even Christ felt it during his agony knowing by advance the terrible circumstances of his death. So the peaceful death of the Just can leave some room for fear. First because the separation of the body and soul is a terrible moment, both fighting to remain together. Then because Christ wants his saints to be truly humble. He keeps some of them so by the fear of the judgment.

4) Finally Christ teaches us that the death of the Just is as safe as a peaceful sleep. ‘Safe’ means a death full of a sure hope. And that hope appease the excessive fear. Thus St. Hillaron upon dying was seized by a great fear. Then, he thought about his life and said: “My soul, why are you afraid. Can I be afraid of a God whom I served faithfully during 70 years?” Once again the death of the Just is like a child going to sleep. The child can be a little afraid by nightmares but he knows with certainty that his mum and dad watch over him. Thus the Just, by the knowledge of the faith, hopes with certainty that in his death God watches over him.

Finally, let us see the outcome of the death of the Just. Consider again the daughter of Jair: She died...and she woke up with Christ holding her hand, the 12 apostles around her bed, her mother and father looking at her in awe. This is the image of the just soul immediately after death: Her spiritual eyes are opened and it sees the beauty of God. It is welcomed by the triumphing Church, by its relatives and friends already in Heaven.

So, let us strive to live a saintly life, let us be encouraged by the beauty, the peace, the hope of a holy death, to a greater fight against our usual sins.

+ Fr Picot


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