Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,… nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Death does separate some people from the love of God. Some people blame God for the death of a friend or loved one. Even though “God did not make death” (Wis 1:13), He certainly permits it, and this is enough to make some people turn against Him.
Similarly, life also separates some people from the love of God. Some people who lead rich and rewarding lives grow proud. They think they don’t need God. They find themselves ignoring God’s message, doubting its value or explaining it away.
But neither death nor life, by themselves, are able to separate Christians from the love of God. This is because the human will remains free by design, and Christians are aided by many special graces. Death, life, success, failure: these only have as much power over the baptized as we choose to give them.
In fact, both death and life, by themselves, strengthen and encourage us to love God more fully. Both of them, in their own way, point us to the love of our Creator. God permits death for whomever He wills, whenever He wills, for good reasons. God gives life to whomever He wills, whenever He wills, for good reasons. We may not always understand those reasons as soon as we would like, but let us be patient. This saying is trustworthy: “If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him.”