“I long to be freed from this life and to be with Christ, for that is the far better thing.” (Philippians 1:23)

In these days of Covid-19 that we are living, where every step we take is, in reality, a matter of weighing our life and death options at every moment, this Sunday’s Second Reading from the Letter to the Philippians is rather apt to reflect on. St. Paul knew a lot about this battle, and he faced death every day (1 Cor 15:31). He was on death row on more than one occasion. Paul faced death and smiled at it. He even taunted death when he proclaimed: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55) Paul said: “Dying is so much gain” (Phil 1:21). He said that he felt as strongly attracted to dying as living (Phil 1:23), although he considered dying in Christ “the far better thing” (Phil 1:23).Paul was freed from slavery to the fear of death (see Heb 2:15) because to him, life meant Christ (Phil 1:21). When we totally give our lives to Christ, we believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25), Who has put death to death by His death on the cross (see Heb 2:14). When we give our lives to Jesus, we give our deaths to Jesus, Who holds “the keys of death and the nether world” (Rv 1:18). In Christ, there is no condemnation (Rm 8:1). In Christ, slavery to the fear of death is swallowed up in victory (1 Cor 15:54).On this and every Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Today, give all to Jesus, smile in the face of death, and live life freely and to the full (see Jn 10:10).PRAYER: Father, give me a happy death as soon as possible.

PROMISE: Seek the Lord while He may be found, call Him while He is near.Is 55:6

PRAISE: I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn 11:25-26) (From a reflection by Fr Al Lauer, Presention Ministries)

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John Portelli

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