“And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”
John 14:29 | NABRE
This was part of the gospel last Sunday. Jesus said this passage after telling the disciples that He was going away, that He will be back, and that if they loved Him, they would be happy for Him. Now, I’m not an expert in God’s word in the Bible, but I believe He was speaking about His Passion, Death, and Resurrection at this point.
Talk about Major Spoiler, right?
We all knew what happened during the first ever Holy Week and Celebration of Easter, right? If you’re Catholic, this is observed and remembered every year. And actually, every time we attend mass, we observe and remember what it took for Jesus to become the Body and Blood we partake every communion.
And so, I actually believe (and hope for myself) that if I lived my life STRICTLY based on how Jesus lived His, I’ve already learned about what could happen after I have left this world. Of course I most likely won’t be turned into host or my blood won’t become wine. But I would hope that the generations I leave would remember my life, especially how it blessed others (if it did).
I would hope that I would also go to the Father. But even before that happens, I already believe that Jesus has truly joined the Father, and so have others who have gone before me. It’s not All Souls’ Day today, but I would like to remember some of those who have already passed this worldly life and have gone now to their eternal one…
My grandparents, both mom and dad’s side (I haven’t met my paternal grandfather, though). The parents of some of my friends, whom I have met, and whose wake I went to; whose lives touched me one way or another, by how they raised their kids, served their community, and impacted lives of other people. A friend from our neighborhood, who died from drowning. A high school batch mate who succumbed to pneumonia. The boyfriend of a childhood friend who had a fatal asthma attack. The sister of that same friend who has died from a serious illness. The priest who trained my brother as an altar server, and filled our parish church with beautiful plants and flowers. The priest who welcomed my daughter to Christianity. Another priest who recently died after being sick for a while. An elder sister-in-Christ who left her husband and then-very-young daughter, and whom I have never made amends with, after being mad at her for quite some time… A baby boy who lived over a week, and was supposed to be my very first godchild and almost a teenager now. A Tito who filled our tummies with food that tasted like heaven, and whom we were planning to get as one of our principal sponsors. A jolly sister-in-Christ with the tattoo of what could’ve been the name of her daughter. A faithful Technical Ministry servant who served behind the scenes. A brother in Christ who died in his sleep, and loved and thought of his family’s welfare so much even after he’d already gone.
Let’s not forget also the lives (more so than the deaths) of some of the famous people in my lifetime: Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stan Lee, Heath Ledger, Paul Walker… Just to name a few. We’ve caught a glimpse of how they lived through the eyes of the media, and somehow we know that they lived it well, pursuing their passions, helping and touching lives along the way.
These passings, these exits from the earthly world may be our Lord’s proof of what’s to come to all of us. We may not know exactly where they went, but I’m pretty sure we all believe that they’re “going back to the Father.” But just as we anticipate and refrain from getting spoilers for the ending of a long-awaited movie, so are we avoiding spoilers of how the Lord will take us out. I just believe that we are all going to have a very happy ending for earthly life, as we officially start our eternal life. 🙂 (I hope I made sense here…)