Archbishop of Hyderabad What makes this created visible world, and particularly the earth on which we live our life-span, interesting to our daily life until its gradual or sudden termination at the hour of death? Is it not the plethora or superabundance of God’s incessant self revealing works that make our world an interesting place for us to live in? What kind of place would our world be for us to live in if God ceased to create trees of all kinds, or fill the air with birds of all sorts or fill the seas with their teaming billions of living creatures? Would it not become a place of asphyxiating dreariness for man’s personal life? Such is the world of the dead in which every human person inevitably finds himself or herself when God disconnects him or her from His works in this world by allowing his or her created human body to disintegrate spontaneously into the mud of the earth. It is the dreadful moment when all the joy of a human person’s communion with all his or her near and dear ones and their communion with him or her in this world, suddenly comes to an unspeakable end! The king Hezekiah expressed this anguish of death succinctly when he cried, saying: ‘I said, in the noontide of my days I must depart; I am consigned to the gates of Sheol for the rest of my years. I said, I shall not see the Lord in the land of the living; I shall look upon man no more among the inhabitants of this world (Is.38:10).

Why should God disconnect me from the joy of endlessly experiencing His works in this world? It is because He creates every human person not for the joy of experiencing His works in this world but for the everlasting joys of belonging to Him in endless communion of eternal life with Himself, as declared by the priestly works His incarnate Son Jesus Christ and of His Holy Spirit as Paraclete during our life time in this world. That is why the moment of death ushers every human person into one of two worlds: the world of God the Father and His incarnate Son Jesus Christ for all human persons who have demonstrated their definitive belongingness to God through their life-long obedience of faith to Him until death, called Heaven; and the world of the Devil and its Angels and for all those who have demonstrated unrepentant indifference to God and to His eternal purpose in creating us as human persons, called Hell. The month of November begins with the joyful vision of the blessedness of Heaven given to us by the Holy Spirit in the Church’s liturgical celebration of all the Saints in Heaven. And this is immediately followed by the vision given by the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of all souls day on November 2nd, of the unspeakable sufferings of all those who failed to love God with all their hearts, their minds, their souls and their strength, and their neighbour as themselves: ‘Remember those, O Lord, who in your peace have died, yet may not gain love’s high reward till love is purified…Sweet is their pain yet deep, till perfect love is born.’ The merciful Father calls all of us chosen to become His adopted children to meditate on this great truth with which our lives on earth will be eschatalogically sealed. And He asks if Catholic priests can have any meaningful work through their ordination except to diligently prepare the baptized (and all those who choose to fear God) committed to their pastoral care, to work out their salvation diligently in Christ and in the Holy Spirit and attain this blessed end.

© 2022 . All Rights Reserved. Archdiocese of Hyderabad.