Recognizing Death as Our Enemy that We Might Rejoice in Victory
Sometimes we try to pretend that death isn’t really all that bad. When a loved one dies we may try to reassure ourselves with the consolation that “they’re in a better place.” We may even think that we should feel happy for them. While it is true that death is not the end and that it is the doorway to eternal life, we should not be so quick to try to put a happy face on death. Death is not simply “a natural part of life” as we sometimes hear. St. Paul tells us that death came through sin. Death was not part of God’s plan. Death is our enemy. We have to understand death as our enemy to fully understand just how wonderful it is that Jesus has saved us. To be saved, you have to be saved from something, and that something is death, a real enemy.
In the light of our Christian faith and the knowledge of the victory won for us in Jesus, we can indeed have hope even in the face of death. Yet, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still grieve. Death presents us with mixed emotions and that is as it should be. Today we mourn for the loss of the physical presence of our departed brothers and sisters and we pray for the repose of their souls. Yet, we mourn as those who have hope. We know that death is not the end. We know that life will be victorious.