Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom….
an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”
Although the above passage pertains to the End Times of the Second Coming of Jesus the Christ, in truth, our individual deaths are the end times for us. And, just as the Second Coming will come “at an hour you do not expect,” so also is our own death.
That was impressed on me by the recent sudden, wholly unexpected death of a parishioner at my church.
A devout Catholic and an active member of her church, Marilyn had driven back to her house to gather more items to donate to the church’s annual garage sale. Bent over by her degenerative spine infirmity, Marilyn walked with difficulty. As she exited her car, her clothing got caught in the door and she fell onto the driveway. Her car rolled over and crushed Marilyn. When she was taken to ER. she was pronounced dead.
Marilyn’s death shocked the church community. Though in her 70s and disabled by her spinal infirmity, it was not a deadly affliction and she was active despite her disability.
We tend to live our lives as if we would live forever. This is especially so when we are/were young. Only as we age and begin to lose family and friends, does death — including our own death — becomes real.
Marilyn’s sudden death — by a freak and wholly unexpected accident “at an hour you do not expect” — is a warning to us “to be prepared” because we really don’t know when our time will come.
How should we be prepared? Here are some suggestions:
- Apologize to any and all whom we have hurt or harmed by word or deed.
- Forgive those who hurt us, even if they had not apologized nor asked for forgiveness. “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us” –The Lord’s Prayer.
- Examine our conscience and ask for God’s forgiveness for our sins. (Catholics should make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and go to Confession on a regular basis.)
- Designate a family member or a trusted friend to have your legal and/or medical power-of-attorney.
- Draw up a Will and make sure it is legal in your state.
- If you have pets, make provisions in your Will for their care.
Lastly, let not a day pass by without thanking God for everything He’s given you, and telling Him that you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ, Our Lord, be with you,