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Tom Scotus

Are You Afraid To Die?

Death

On Holy Saturday, I bought a niche in a mausoleum for my wife and I. This was something I had planned to do for a while. My wife did not want to discuss it, nor did my father in law. Most people do not want to think about death. The idea of physically dying doesn’t bother me because I believe in the Resurrection. "What you sow does not come to life unless it dies" (1 Corinthians 15:36).

I’m not exactly sure why most people do not want to think about death. Probably it’s because they don’t fully believe in the Resurrection -- they may believe that death is the absolute end of their existence. Or maybe it’s because they feel guilty about their sins and do not want to face God at the judgment. "A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time" (Ecclesiastes 7:4).

To live or to die is a choice we make during our lives on earth. "Before man is life and death, good and evil, that which he shall choose shall be given him," (Ecclesiasticus 15:17).

Ultimately, it is a question of what we love. Do we love the world and the things of the world? Do we love ourselves? Do we love carnal pleasures? If we love these things much more than we ought to, we will die. That is, we will choose to exist separately from God after we physically die. Our hearts determine our destiny. What we love most in this life, we will love most in the next life. However, almost all the things that sinners love in this life will not exist in the next life, so they will pine away for eternity.

What should we love in order to have eternal life? "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’" (Luke 10:27).

Only in the light of the Resurrection do we find the courage to face our mortality:

"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!’" (Luke 24:1-6).