Grace: To desire to reform my life and renew my relationship with Christ, recognizing that life is short and I will be judged by the Lord after death.
Text for Prayer: 1 Thes. 4:13-15
Reflection: When I was an undergrad in Miami, I befriended someone at my parish named Christina. We weren’t super close, but we enjoyed talking and passing the time. She smiled a lot. She was sweet and fun to be with. One day, I woke up to the news that she had died in a car accident. She was twenty years old and so was I. Her death was shocking and heartbreaking. I had never known anyone my own age who died. Even though we weren’t particularly close, her death felt closer than others I had experienced.The sudden end to her life struck a chord inside of me.
It is easy to think that this life we are living is going to last forever. We get caught up in our plans, the bills, time with our loved ones, the busy schedule, the joys, the struggles—all of it. We get so caught up that we forget that life is about more than just today, and that today may be all we have. Every day is an opportunity to take account of our lives and to renew our friendship with Jesus Christ.
Death invites us to ponder the meaning of our lives. It encourages us to strive for the things that make us joyful and holy, for they are not mutually exclusive. In Matthew 25, the Lord tells us that we ought to live in passionate service of our sisters and brothers. Looking outside of ourselves and sympathizing with the needs of others will never be wasted time. The very purpose of our lives is attain communion with God and communion with others. Praying for those who are hurting, giving to those in need, and reaching out to the lonely and helpless are all ways of preparing ourselves for an eternal life with God that begins in the here and now of our everyday lives.
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in my heart a deep desire to love and serve. May that sacred fire within me reform my life and renew my relationship with Christ. Help me to be thankful for the gift of life and to be mindful of how short it may be.
In prayer, ask the Lord to help you recognize that life is a gift and to give you the desire to live each day for Jesus. Spend some time reflecting on the things that obstruct your love and service of God’s people.