What good news would you share with the people who will mourn your death?
This is an important question to ask if you, like me, want to plan your own funeral ahead of time. I have no idea when my last day on earth will be – but, I do know that there will be a last day here. That’s why I decided to write the blog post, Preparing to Die in 5 Easy Steps. In my recent posts, I have shared the Bible passages that I want read at my Funeral Mass: Old Testament reading, psalm, and epistle. Now for the Gospel – the Good News.
And, yes, the reading (continue to the end) is about Heaven, about life after death – but… with a twist. The twist is that this particular reading, taken from St. Matthew’s Gospel, helped me to finally understand that Christianity isn’t all about what happens after you’re dead.
Christianity’s focus is about how you live right here, right now. It’s about whether or not you know Christ and have encountered Him in the flesh. In Christianity, having a divine experience, having a living relationship with God, isn’t relegated to the afterlife. Because God is here. God is here among us – right now. Do see him? Are you even looking?
Do you care?
Because, right now, God is living in your neighborhood, lonely, sick, and suffering. God is hoping that you will, as my grandmother might say, “shiv a git” and drop in, even just to say hi. Right now, God is holed up in the corner of a filthy room, having not eaten for two days, her mother strung out and wasted on heroine, waiting for you to knock on the door, to call protective services, or to become a foster parent – to do something.
What are you doing? What am I doing?
Some people think that disabled people like me need religion as a crutch and a comfort. But, even though I seem to be one of the needy ones, I am also called to give – not just to receive. Christianity, in reality, is more of a challenge than a comfort. In fact, if you are comfortable in the living of your Christian faith, then you’re probably not doing it right.
I’m not doing it right, I confess.
We are all sinners in need of a Savior.
But, the good news is that we have one.
And our Savior isn’t far away on some candy sugar mountain waiting for us after death so that he can pat us on the head and say, “That’s okay, you didn’t have to listen to me. You didn’t have to look for me on earth or go out of your way to care.” Nope. That’s not how it’s going to play out. At the end of days, our Savior is going to tell us one of two things.
Either: “I remember you! Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for sacrificing and being brave enough to comfort me, to take care of me.”
Or: “Who are you again? I don’t remember you. I’ve never seen you before. Where were you when I needed someone?”