November is the month dedicated to remembering our deceased relatives, friends, and parishioners.
I’d say it’s also a month of deep reflection about life—of how we live it.
Do we live it fully, joyfully, and meaningfully?
Do we live it every day with gratitude to God?
Do we live it bravely, knowing that God is always on our side?
And as Pope Francis posed in his Angelus address on October 16th:
What would he [God} find in me if the Lord were to come today? What would he find in me, in my life, and in my heart? What priorities would he see in my life?
Archbishop Gomez reflected on the same matter in his regular column in Angelus magazine, New World of Faith.
Explaining the difference between “resume eulogy” — skills that qualify you for a job — and “virtues eulogy”–qualities that you hope you will be remembered for at your funeral such as honesty, faithfulness, courage, and love–he writes:
November for Catholics is the month of all saints and all souls. This month is given for us to reflect on our mortality, the meaning of our lives. November is the time for us to think about the “eulogy virtues.”
Indeed, how do I want people to remember me at my departure from this world?
Besides getting into a profound meditation on the gift of earthly life, as Christians, we must also acknowledge our belief and hope in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and our sharing of this new life through Baptism and virtuous life. We never become too attached to this world. We live for the Eternal Life—the other side of life—promised to all of us.
The seven brothers in this Sunday’s (November 6) First Reading from the Book of Maccabees (7:1-2, 9-14) expressed it. Each of them professed their belief in the Resurrection.
“You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying,” said one of the brothers as he was tortured.
“It was from Heaven that I received these; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him, I hope to receive them again,” another brother pronounced.
“It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him,” another brother said.
Spend intentional moments reflecting deeply on life and the promise of Eternal Life. In this way, your daily life would become more tranquil and meaningful.
Moreover, I recommend you repeat these words ten times at a given moment of prayer.
“O Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.”
If you do this daily, I assure you that you will experience peace and wholeness.
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.