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The source of all life

This weekend we hear from the Book of Wisdom, that God has made us to be imperishable. God has made each human being, not to die, but to live forever by ordering our life to the worship and love of God, and the love and service of life within others.

God made us in his image and likeness to know and love him forever in our body and soul. However, due to Original Sin and its effects, we will someday die. Al-though Original Sin is washed away at baptism, its effects of disordered passions (concupiscence) and imperfections remain, which leads to sin and death.

Death occurs when God separates our soul from our bodies, permanently. Death occurs when the everlasting soul, which organizes and vivifies the body, separates from one’s body.

At death the body no longer can be ordered to God. The eyes lose their power and purpose to see true beauty. The mouth can no longer proclaim Christ as Lord, the heart no longer beats to pass blood on to the hands that are called to serve, and to the feet that are called to follow God’s Ten Commandments. At physical death, every organ becomes disordered, disorganized, and begins to decay.

There is also such a thing as spiritual death of the soul. This occurs when a person who has reached the age of reason freely and knowingly chooses not to seek God and to sin against reason by gravely breaking one or many of God’s commandments, which are written on every human heart.

This does not have to be a permanent spiritual death since the person can make a good confession and be restored to God’s living friendship – sanctifying grace – which gives us the power to follow Jesus and his commandments of love fully expressed in his Church’s seven sacraments, beginning with baptism.

At death, God calls the soul to himself to be judged. If we have sanctifying grace in our soul, that is, love for God and his Ten Commandments, and love of our neighbor, especially the poor, we will be judged worthy to pass on to heaven. “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.” Mt. 25:40 Think of the most vulnerable in our society, and how we are treating them – the preborn baby, the sick, the elderly.

We can be assured that we have received the divine gift of sanctifying grace by being formerly baptized into Jesus Christ through his Catholic Church, and through the worthy reception of the other sacraments, the greatest being the Sacrament of Holy Communion – the Eucharist.

However, a person will not enter the fullness of heaven until sanctifying grace has perfected their soul. Many people die in the state of grace, but with an imperfect soul. Therefore, they are in purgatory in need of our prayers and sacrifices. In describing heaven, the Book of Revelation talks about how “the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb… but nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Cf. Rev. 21:21-27 That is why it is so important to repent of all sins, to go to confession and be detached from any serious lies or abominable mortal sins.

The Good News is that Jesus Christ has come to save our soul from sin, the Devil, and everlasting spiritual and physical death. True love is the reason God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world through the Virgin Mary to establish his Church and save us from all evil, and the effects of original sin which are disorders, sickness and death.

In today’s Gospel we see how Jesus Christ was able to bring the daughter of Jairus back to life. Jairus searched for Jesus so that Christ might lay his holy hands upon his sick daughter and be healed and live.

But it seemed like it was too late, because while he was searching for Christ his daughter died. Yet, God saw his growing faith, hope and love as he searched for Jesus for his daughter. Thus, God the Father commanded his Son to restore her back to life.

Even though the soul of the daughter of Jairus left her body temporarily, God decided that her soul would not be permanently separated and judged because he saw the faith of Jairus. That is why Jesus said, “Just have faith. The child is not dead but asleep.”

Then, because Jesus is God, the source of all life, love and judgement, Jesus places the soul of the daughter back into her body and she rises to life and walks around. Most likely she and her family joined the disciples of Jesus, the Church which believes that Jesus is God and can restore people to life, and even resurrect God’s faithful people to heaven.

Jesus does similar miracles to be a sign that all those who put their faith in him as the Lord of life, death and judgement, and who intercede for those who are physically or spiritually sick, even dead, will be heard.

This is why we as Catholics pray in the name of Jesus Christ for the living and the dead, for those who are healthy and for those who need new, spiritual life.

By the power of our baptism we, like Jairus, should search for Jesus and intercede for all our family and friends, both the living and deceased. We also pray for those who persecute us and those who are most vulnerable in our society.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the one who made our everlasting soul to be united with him in life and in death through the sacraments, but also through intercessory prayer and loving service, so that we can help everyone pass from death to the new and perfect life of heaven.

Peace in Christ and Mary,

Fr. Thomas McCabe


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