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Let’s Say You Die Tomorrow

First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3

In those days, I Daniel,
heard this word of the Lord:
“At that time there shall arise
Michael, the great prince,
guardian of your people;
it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
since nations began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape,
everyone who is found written in the book.“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;
some shall live forever,
others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.“But the wise shall shine brightly
like the splendor of the firmament,
and those who lead the many to justice
shall be like the stars forever.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) You are my inheritance, O Lord!
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14, 18

Brothers and sisters:
Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering
he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.Where there is forgiveness of these,
there is no longer offering for sin.

Gospel: Mark 13:24-32

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In those days after that tribulation
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from the sky,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

“And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’
with great power and glory,
and then he will send out the angels
and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

“Learn a lesson from the fig tree.
When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves,
you know that summer is near.
In the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that he is near, at the gates.
Amen, I say to you,
this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.

“But of that day or hour, no one knows,
neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

NAB

nov 15

Let’s pretend for a minute like you DID know the time of your own death . . . and to be really morbid let’s say it is tomorrow night. How would that change how you live your life tomorrow? If you really did know that it was the last day of your life? Would you make very many changes?

I think I would probably go to Mass and Confession just to be on the safe side. I would write some letters to my kids, and put in writing all those things that are said or unsaid that I wouldn’t be able to say anymore.

I am sure I would want to tidy up the place because my pride would rear its head and I wouldn’t want my husband to have to deal with more of my ‘stuff.’ Then I may go to Confession again for the pride thing (just to be safe). I would spend time with my kids and husband, unencumbered with the frustrations of daily life—like whether we are on time. I would want to take them somewhere special or do something special with them so that they would have that specific memory to turn to. More than what I would do, there is a lot that I would not do. I wouldn’t lose my temper, or tell them I had too much to do. I wouldn’t let them fall asleep upset or angry, or disappointed, or hungry for more love.

We won’t know the hour of our death, but reflecting on the question gives us insight to what is really important to us.

What are you putting in order? How are you spending your everyday? Research tells us that younger people prefer to do new things and spend time with new people, where as older people prefer to spend time with loved ones. Stanford Psychologist Laura Carstensen explains this by saying that we change, not because we are getting older but rather because we realize that our time here is limited. With the growing awareness of one’s own mortality comes the recognition that maybe we should spend our time differently.

We don’t know when our time will come, but that only means we should be ever more mindful of the words we use and the time we spend. We are not to live in fear of death, but rather live with the awareness that each day is a gift to be celebrated and lived in such a way that brings Glory to God. Have you put your spiritual house in order? Do you have words unspoken that need to be told? Are you loving abundantly each day or getting bogged down by the distractions of this life?

If you only had a day or a week or two to live, what would you do differently today? Whom would you call? Whom would you kiss? Would you leave words unspoken?

photo by Madi Myers-Cook

MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here

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