Some years ago I was wandering around one of the old colonial cemeteries in Peterborough, NH. As many may know, it was the custom at that time to inscribe epitaphs on the thin grey slate slabs of stone that marked the graves. I came across one that has stayed with me over the years. It read,
"Death, thou hast conquered me; by thine arrows I am slain. But Christ has conquered thee, and I shall rise again!" What a powerful testimony of faith in the power of the Risen Christ over our last enemy, Death, and in His promise to share His victory with us! We see that power displayed in the
Gospel when, with a word of command, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, when He calls him, who had been four days in the tomb, back to life. Of course, this gift to Lazarus was only temporary since he would have to die again to life in this world. But it is a powerful reminder of the gift of eternal life which Christ promises to each of us who is faithful to Him. Growing ever more faithful in order to receive this final gift is what Lent is all about. We desire a share in the risen life of the Lord, so we strive to remove from our lives all that is contrary to it, all that would prevent us from inheriting it. Lent is now more than half over. Where are we? Are we any different than before Lent began? Have we even reflected on how we need to be different so as to be more faithful disciples? What are we doing to grow in that direction? On the day of our death we too want to hear the words, _____, come out! Yes come out, not to life in this world but to that life which St. Paul says that
"no eye can see, no ear hear and no mind imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him."