Life is short, death is certain, and eternity is long. That’s what recently canonized St. John Henry Newman once wrote: “Life is short, death is certain, and eternity is long.” These words came to mind when I first read the readings we just heard earlier this week. One thing about becoming a priest is that you quickly get to know a lot of people who pass away. Before I entered seminary, I could probably count on no more than both hands the people I personally knew who passed away. Now, that number has grown exponentially. And it will only continue to grow. Many of you perhaps know more people who have passed away than haven’t, where it seems more people are waiting for you on the other side than those who are with you on this side. But as I celebrate mass and I pray for those people who have passed away now, that litany is long. My family, my friends, people that I have brought back to the Church or helped bring back to the Church, people who I have anointed, people who I’ve prayed with. They’re all gone. They have come to understand what, for you and me right now, are still just words. Life is short, death is certain, eternity is long.
November 22, 2023
St. Michael Catholic Church 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time