The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why do good people have to die?

The question can also be asked: "why do rich people have to die," or "why do influential people have to die?" While I'm at it I might as well ask the question "why did my father have to die?" This question is so common that even those of us who profess to be Christians find it very easy to ask when death comes knocking at our doorstep.

Turn on your TV today and on almost every channel they are talking about the death of a famous singer who died at the young age of 48. Whitney Houston's death, like many other famous stars who passed away is taking the waves by storm. There is much discussion about what went wrong that led to her unexpected demise. Because of the impact that they have had on society and our lives we tend to treat them as though they are impervious to death, but this is a road that we all will have to walk one day.

Death does not discriminate against age, sex, religion, status in society, health or wealth. Take a look in the mirror and say: "thank you Lord" for allowing me to see this moment. We go through life with little thought about how we got here and exactly where we are going. No matter how much money someone has in life, there is no telling when we will be called home to our Lord and Saviour. God promises us a life of three score and ten (Psalm 90:10). How we live our lives today determines how we live our life after death, one that we all hope will be an eternal one.

There are many unexplainable mysteries in the world today, but through faith we put our trust and hope in God. We will never know why someone had to leave us so soon, but we also know that Jesus came into the world to give us hope. Jesus died and was raised that we may one day share in communion with Him and the Father in heaven. This knowledge gives us comfort and assurance that one day we will see our loved ones again.

Death is not the end of our lives. We are not made for this world, we are made for eternity, we are pilgrims here, seventy or eighty years for those who are strong, but then after that we wake up to God's time, the eternal now (Fr. Tom Sullivan, Fathers of Mercy). Death can come to us unexpectedly or gradually with the illness of a love one. Thankfully God is a merciful God and calls us to repentance no matter what time of day, even at deaths door.

While driving home from picking up my kids from school, we glimpsed a friend driving the opposite direction. When seeing her my daughter made the comment that she had looked sad. There was a glimmer of despair in her, but that was expected as she had just recently lost her mother to an unexpected sudden death. Her death was a shock to many who kept questioning "why" or "how." We hear the same sentiments expressed about the passing of Whitney Houston, who was found dead in the bathtub at her hotel.

Getting over the death of a loved one is not as easy as it is said to be, but we are told to place our trust in Jesus, only He can take away our pain. Knowing that your relative lived their life for service to God and others can ease that pain. Holding on to memories can be a good thing, but when we hold on to them and allow them to keep us from moving forward them we must recognize that we are in need of help. Jesus wants our unconditional love and attention. We cannot allow distractions to prevent us from loving and serving Him.

During this 7th Sunday of ordinary time, January 19, 2012 we hear in the gospel the story of four men who took the time to carry a paralytic man up a roof and lowered him through a hole in a roof that he may be healed. What great faith this paralytic man must have had, but even the men who carried him had to believe that Jesus could heal him to go through the trouble of getting him to see Jesus. Would you have taken the strength and courage to carry another man up a roof and breakthrough it in order that the unknown could be revealed?

Our families who grieve for the lost of their loved ones long for a helping hand to take them to the arms of Jesus. Only through the Holy Spirit can one come to know and accept Christ and the desire He has to free us of our fears and anxieties, but we are being called also to be like those four men who took the initiative to help others in need. Those who are grieving are calling out for help. Take the time to visit those who have lost a loved one and are seeking some assurance that God is still on the throne. So many have given into satan's lies that there is no way out to the point that they decide to take their own life.

As expressed to my daughter, we cannot grieve for our loved ones to the point that it consumes us where we can only focus on them. We can have, and worship only one God. Satan wants to keep us in a place where there is hopelessness and fear of the future. Knowing that there is life after death is comforting to the grieving victim. Jesus says: "come unto me, all ye who are weary and I will give you rest." If we accept the fact that we are not of this world forever, then we cannot live our lives as though there is no tomorrow. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me" (John 14:1).

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