By Fr. Roy Cimagala
“THE Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” (Lk 9,22)
These words of Christ show us the general trajectory of our life here on earth. Like Christ, we have to expect all sorts of sufferings and death. But we should never forget that there is also the resurrection. This is what our Christian faith tells us about our life and death here on earth.
Thus, St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans stressed this truth of our faith by saying, “If we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (6,8) How important, therefore, for us to carve these words of Christ and St. Paul in our mind and heart, so that we can have the proper understanding and appreciation of everything in our life, including our sufferings and death!
In short, as long as we are with Christ, we can expect the resurrection, the victory over sin and death, if we suffer and die also with Christ. We need to do everything to live by this truth of our faith so we can go through the drama of our life in peace, joy and confidence. We can avoid unnecessary worries.
Let us also remember that the best condition we can enjoy in our earthly life is when we are with Christ. We would know how to handle any situation properly. And as St. Paul again said it in his Letter to the Romans, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8,28)
This should strongly motivate us to know, love and serve God who has revealed himself fully in Christ. And as far as Christ is concerned, he has left us with the beautiful story of his life, his teaching, his Church and the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist where he makes himself entirely available to us, even making himself the Bread of Life for us to eat and achieve the highest communion we can have with him here on earth.
We really do not have any excuse why we cannot go through our life, with all its ups and down, in a manner that would be marked always by joy, peace and hope. We should try our best to be always guided by our Christian faith in our general attitude toward life and death.
With this Christian faith, we will always feel reassured and can echo what St. Paul once said: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?…But thanks to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15,55.57)
We should spread widely this Good News about our Christian faith on life and death. We know that many of us are still ignorant about it, or worse, not convinced by it, and thus we unnecessarily suffer the consequences. Where there is supposed to be only joy and peace, we are often hounded by fear, worries, sadness and the like.
Let us always strengthen the conviction that the best condition for us to be in is when we are truly with God who has done everything to make himself available to us!