Mission Society of the Philippines

Homilies

26th Sunday C

A Life after Death

I remember an incident when Holy Father, Pope Francis came to be in solidarity with the Yolanda victims in the Philippines. Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass under a strong wind because of another typhoon. In that celebration one youth volunteer accidentally died. Pope Francis consoled the youth’s father in Manila in the presence of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. Pope Francis was so worried about the youth volunteer. But the child’s father expressed that there’s nothing to worry and no one is to be blamed because his daughter died while serving the people of God. Pope Francis then deeply said, “Oh what a faith!”

Dear brothers and sister in Christ. We are all pilgrims in this earth and death is an inevitable reality along life’s journey. For Christ believers, life does not end with our death on earth. Rather, life continues even after death, for Jesus himself resurrected after His death. Moreover, Jesus’ resurrection is our strong hope of the life after death.   

The readings for today’s Sunday challenges us three with important points:

Firstly, there is life after death. There is really life after death! In the Gospel Jesus mentions Abraham the father of faith and Lazarus was in his presence, carried by angels in his bosom. We all long to be in the place of Lazarus. Jesus Christ himself died but he is resurrected. Jesus’ resurrection is our assurance of the life after death. Hence, our ultimate goal in life is to partake in Christ’s glory in heaven.

Secondly, we will be rewarded in heaven. The good man Lazarus, in Hebrew Eliezer, which means “God will help,” for sure has a complete trust in the Lord. The gospel says that after his death “Lazarus is carried by angels to the bosom of Abraham.”  While the rich man is tormented and suffered extreme agony. On the one hand, the rich man in the gospel did not actually do something bad directly to Lazarus, nor did he do good things. He did not even offer the scraps of food that fell from his table. He just allowed Lazarus’ misery to be left unaided while enjoying lavish food and wearing a luxurious wardrobe. Not doing good things to others does not deserve any reward in heaven. On the other hand, Lazarus, despite of life’s misery his faith remains intact and holding completely his trust0 in the Lord. Because of this he is now comforted in heaven.

Thirdly, let us do good things to others. We cannot just remain apathetic towards our brothers and sisters in the community for Christ’s Kingdom is divinely intended for all. Let us share the material blessings we have. Looking around, there are a lot of people eating sumptuous food in the food chains. Sometimes we order and eat excessive foods and at the same time beggars are outside the store patiently waiting for some left over. We tend to neglect them because we are too preoccupied and concerned with our own businesses in life. We tend to neglect the needs of the little ones in the society. St. Paul in the second reading urges us “as a man of God to pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love and so on…by living out this challenge “we are able to compete well for faith.” Let us do good things to others and be instruments of God’s love for the least in the society.

Brothers and sisters let us be equipped ourselves especially in doing good things. Like Lazarus, let us store up treasures on earth that will bring us and let us inherit eternal life in heaven. Amen.

 

Fr. Ferdinand Aporillo, MSP

Diocese of Nakhon Ratchashima

Thailand  

 

 

 


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