death defeats death
"Then he left the side of his dead one." —Genesis 23:3
Our culture of death is without a foundation and without a future. It's only a matter of time before it self-destructs. We can save many lives by hastening its demise. We can displace our culture of death with a civilization of love and life.
We can conquer our culture of death by dying (Heb 2:14). Paradoxically, this is how Jesus conquered death. Sarah's death and burial plot gave Abraham and his people a foothold in the promised land (Gn 23:4ff). We conquer death by:
- dying to self (see Jn 12:24),
- physically dying for Jesus as martyrs do,
- resisting the temptations to despair and escapism in the face of death (see Wis 2:1ff; 1 Cor 15:32), and
- receiving the life-changing, earth-shaking graces which are given when someone faithful to the Lord dies (Ps 116:15).
Death has lost its sting and its victory (1 Cor 15:55). Death has been swallowed up in the victory of Jesus' death (1 Cor 15:54) and the victory of the lives of those who have been baptized into His death (Rm 6:3). Though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death (Ps 23:4, KJV), we have victory over death and its culture, for we are in the crucified Christ, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).
Prayer: Father, You fill me with hope and life. I love You.
Promise: Jesus "said to him, 'Follow Me.' Matthew got up and followed Him." —Mt 9:9
Praise: St. Maria's death gave Life to her killer.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001