Every minute, over 100 people die.
I’ve have a neighbor who nearing death. My heart is weighed down by their suffering. How does God absorb the death of our loved ones plus the death of 100 other loved ones around the world every minute?
Jesus witnessed the death of His friend Lazarus and His reaction was to weep. After 33 years of life and ministry, Jesus found Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane (cf Luke 22). Tradition has it that Jesus with was there when His step dad Joseph died. Can you imagine Jesus’ tears when Joseph breathed His last? It wasn’t as though Jesus unfamiliar with the process of dying. He was there when Adam and Eve first sinned and ultimately died.
When Jesus’ sweat turned into blood in Gethsemane, it was a prelude His heart bursting on the cross.
How do Christians enlarge their capacity to love? Three ways:
- Ask God for a Zeal for His House (John 2). Jesus loved the temple. Ask God to give you love for the people of God (the Church and Israel).
- Ask God for supernatural love of sinners. I Peter 2 invites Christians to share in His priesthood. His death for our sin was once and for all and yet He invites us to share the cross for the sin of the world.
- Ask God to become fully human. If you are looking for a life verse, check out Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
We live so that we might die unto the Lord.
John Henry Newman (cf. “Lead Kindly Light) wrote this prayer:
“Oh, my Lord and Savior, support me in that hour in the strong arms of Your Sacraments, and by the fresh fragrance of Your consolations. Let the absolving words be said over me, and the holy oil sign and seal me, and Your own Body be my food, and Your Blood my sprinkling; and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me, and my Angel whisper peace to me, and my glorious Saints smile upon me; that in them all, and through them all, I may receive the gift of perseverance, and die, as I desire to live, in Your faith, in Your Church, in Your service, and in Your love. Amen.”