I have just received a message that someone’s elderly mother had just died. This message came as I was reflecting on the beauty of creation around me, here at Daly River overlooking the river from the balcony of the parish house.
The lady who died had lived a full life. A life with its mixtures of joys and sorrow. Widowed for twenty years, experiencing the death of young children, and outliving her parents and siblings. She was in her early 90’s.
A much-loved woman and she died surrounded by the love of her family and comforted by the Sacraments of the Church.
As I spoke with her daughter in far off Adelaide, I remembered that yesterday would have been my mother’s 91st birthday. She died in the year 2000.
It is so good to be able to say that the woman who died is now reunited with all those who have gone before her.
We know this because of Jesus, His death and resurrection.
As I remembered my mother yesterday, I did so with a peaceful feeling. Yet I also felt the shadow of grief still there in my heart.
It was good to share the love of our mother yesterday with my two sisters by phone video.
I was able to share with that lady’s daughter that grief is a journey and that we need to allow ourselves to feel whatever we feel as we deal with grief.
In Jesus, God enters our pain and grief and shares our death.
In Jesus we also share in the hope of resurrection where we remember how deeply loved we are for all eternity by God.
I remembered the voice of St. Paul saying “death where is your sting?”.
Yet, because of Jesus we can embrace death. For Christians it is our passage to the next stage of life, to eternal life.
It is God’s wish that all of our brothers and sisters in the human family share eternal love and life with Him, and with each other.
This invitation is open to all.
I pray and hope that all accept it.