Read Acts 20:17-27, Ps. 68:10-11,20-21, John 17:1-11
“I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” (Acts 20:26-27)
Today’s first reading is Paul’s farewell speech while he was leaving the region of Asia and our Gospel passage today is an excerpt of Jesus’ high priestly prayer which he said just before His arrest and crucifixion. Both readings are set on a tone of departure.
Whatever has a beginning must have an end. It is a matter of wisdom to always keep the end in view. We are not born to live forever on earth. We can escape everything but we can never escape death when our time comes.
As a minister, a father, a mentor, a teacher etc., can I say like St. Paul that I am innocent of the blood of my congregation, my children, my employees, or those under my care? Can I beat my chest to say that I never led anyone under my care astray?
Death is very good; it is something to look forward to because it affords us the opportunity to return to our true home. However, we dread the thought of death, we hate to hear about death and we consider it a bad omen to dream about death.
Why are we so scared of death? One; we are not prepared to depart from this world yet and two; we are not certain of our fate after death, that is, we fear that we would not enjoy the bliss of heaven. Simply put, we are yet to start fighting the good fight of exemplary conduct and we are not running the race of righteousness.
When you live well, you lose the fear of death. Paul was not afraid to die. He said: “you will see my face no more.” At only 33 years old, Jesus prayed: “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do… I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world…”
By every standard, Jesus died at a very young age but he died a fulfilled person. In Jesus, we learn that a fulfilled life is not measured by the number of one’s days but by the quality of those days.
Rather than pray for a very long life, let us pray for a very impactful life. Rather than wish death away, let us pray for the grace to accomplish our purpose on earth. Rather than fear death, let us fear sin and flee from whatever would make us unworthy of being with the saints in heaven.
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit fill our hearts, and enkindle in us your Sacred Fire. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 7th week of Eastertide, Bible Study: Acts 20:17-27, Ps. 68:10-11,20-21, John 17:1-11)
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu