May 7, 2023
Our experience of death is from the death and dying of others. And that can be so hard. Jesus gives us a new light…
This homily is given in both Spanish and English due to the Spanish EWJ Retreat.
- We have images in our mind of others’ death and dying.
- Mary experienced this in all its cruelty.
- Jesus’ Paschal Mystery is the light for every Christian death.
- He comes to take us home, to share His joy in the Father’s house.
This is a computer-generated transcription that has been included to make the homily searchable. It has not been verified by the author.
So I’ll first give the little homily in Spanish and so you all can take this time to meditate the thing pray a little bit, maybe take a little, a little nap if you want. But as I was mentioning I think this is such sometimes this chapel very cold, like two weeks ago was very cold. Pretty soon it’s gonna be very hot. But a day like today is a special grace, a special gift from the Lord. And so let’s, let’s appreciate it.
Father gave the homily in Spanish first, and then in English:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God, have faith also in Me, In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. I am going to prepare a place for you, and I will come back and take you to Myself. So that where I am, you also may be.” We haven’t had, most of us haven’t experienced death. But we know other people who have died. And in different circumstances, sometimes through illness or old age. Sometimes it’s the body gradually declining. Sometimes it’s sudden, sometimes it’s peaceful. Sometimes it’s very hard. Sometimes on the contrary, it’s through an accident, or violence in which the body might have terrible signs of what it suffered. And so the last that we see is a lifeless body. And we can’t see the soul. Up until that time, we could see like, if the person was happy, we could see maybe a smile on their face. If they were sad, we could say maybe a frown or tears. But now we can’t see. All we see is this lifeless body. And that’s the last image which might be maybe, can be haunting us, that last image of the person at the moment of their death. And that was our Blessed Mother’s experience. After the crucifixion, the image she had of Jesus was, the last image she had, was this Jesus, who had suffered so extremely. And so there was so much temptations to destroy her faith, her hope, destroy her heart. Because she, all she could see was the body. She couldn’t see, as we can’t see what happens afterwards. And so that’s the main, we know for all of human history, the great mystery, what happens after death, is there anything after death? And that’s why the Paschal mystery, the mystery of the suffering and death of Jesus, that we’re celebrating these days, and His resurrection is so powerful. And we know it’s often, we might often struggle, many people struggle to believe the words of Jesus because they are so extraordinary. But that’s why His resurrection is so powerful because it’s the clear, strong evidence of the reality and the truthfulness of all that He said. And so He helps us to see our own life, and our death, in the light of His life and death. And so He reveals to us what really happens. We can’t see it, but by faith, we can know it. If a person obstinately, even to the end, rejects Jesus, then they choose hell. But if a person even at the last instant, turns to God’s mercy, which is always reaching out to them, then they are on the short path to heaven. They may need a time in Purgatory. But even in Purgatory, they have the certain hope that they are on the road to heaven. And what Jesus hopes for, and what He wants, and that’s the reason for so much purification here on earth, is for us to be able to go directly from the suffering of this life, into heaven. And so that’s what this gospel that we have today, to this gospel that Jesus has given us, a few hours before His arrest when He was, is so important. That’s one of my favorite gospels. He says, this, because this we can, this is the part that we can’t see, when you see just the body, but He tells us what else is happening at that moment. For a person who’s been faithful to God’s will, He says, “I will come back and take you with Me.” “I will come back and take you with Me.” How different that is. We see a body which no longer has life, but the soul that has been faithful to God’s will, sees Jesus. And we can imagine what it is to see Jesus, in His glory. At the body can’t hurt our body couldn’t survive that. Well, it would be like to see Jesus come in for you personally, and not just as a passing vision. But to take you to be with Him forever. No more suffering, no more trials, united in infinite love forever. And again, for some, it is necessary to pass through purgatory, but still with that hope, but for what Jesus wants. And again, that’s why there’s so much purification in this life, so that we can go directly into heaven. And so see how different it is between what our eyes see and what faith reveals to us is happening. It’s true that the body is dead, but the soul is already experiencing what we can’t even imagine. So glorious and happy that we can’t imagine. “In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places where there is no death, or mourning, no tears, or shouting, no hunger, no pain, no darkness, no thirst, but only light, peace, happiness, and singing for joy.” That moment, which is so hard for us, but we’re just a moment in which God could no longer stand to not have us with Him. And so He comes to bring us to be forever in His joy. “Do not let your heart be troubled, have faith in God, have faith also in Me, In My Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. And I am going to prepare a place for you and then I will come back again and take you to Myself. So that where I am, you also may be forever.” Amen.
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