From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…November 12, 2017

This past week there were two funerals at St. Mary. In my last assignment this was a little more regular event; at St. Mary and St. Anthony it does not happen all that often. It does provide a great opportunity, though, to reflect on this month of November that is set aside for us to pray for the poor souls in Purgatory and to reflect on our own deaths.

All of us will die. It is an obvious statement I am sure, but in the rush and hubbub of life, we can often forget about it. We may not really believe such things as, “Only the good die young” or “God put me here to accomplish a certain number of things, and I am so far behind that I will never die,” but such notions can creep into our consciousness. We keep moving forward, whatever direction forward might be in at the moment, and we don’t take the time to reflect just on where everything is going.

Those of you who have a few more years under your belt and no longer have the energy to rush around, it is probably a little easier for you to think about death. Also, chances are, the older you are, the more deaths you have experienced among your friends and family. The reality of death and the approach of death are much more present to you, but that does not always mean you have taken the time to ponder what path you are on as you near the end. All of us need to do this, because how we die is how we will spend eternity.

For most of us, in this life, we get a lot (and by a lot I mean A LOT) of second chances. If God has a plan for my life, a Plan A, and various backup plans, I think I am somewhere close to Plan Triple Z. Thankfully God is greater than me, but there is a time when this comes to an end: death. When the weakness of the flesh drops away from us, when our wills are set free from the various passions and our minds are cleared, when we die, we come before the Lord as we died, either with our lives lived for Him or not. At the end, it is a black or white reality.

This doesn’t mean we have to die perfect to enter heaven, and we will get into that next week, but the Lord’s graciousness should not fool us into thinking that the Lord is simply indulgent with us. He has expectations for us, and there are consequences. What we think, say, do, and don’t do, all of it matters; all of it has consequences beyond this life. It is good for us to think about this because every single one of us will have to face this reality because each and every one of us will die.

This wisdom has been passed down through the generations. In the Old Testament, Sirach tells us, “In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin.” An old Latin saying is much shorter and to the point, Memento mori, remember death. In doing so, we will be keeping our eyes and the prize that we are striving for throughout our lives.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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