his birth and our deaths
“Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace.” —Luke 2:29
Simeon told the Lord, His Master, that he was ready to die now that he had seen Jesus alive. This points out the connection between our deaths and Jesus’ birth. The Church emphasizes this connection by celebrating the deaths of St. Thomas Becket today, the Holy Innocents yesterday, and St. Stephen on the second day of Christmas.
Jesus’ birth and our deaths go together because Jesus has revealed to us that our deaths are births into the eternal life of heaven (see Rm 6:8). Death is not the end of life, but the end of earthly limitations on life. “Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. My knowledge is imperfect now; then I shall know even as I am known” (1 Cor 13:12).
Death in Jesus is the birth into perfect life — a life greater than we can ever see, hear, or conceptualize (1 Cor 2:9). Our earthly life is comparable to being in the womb. In the womb, we are truly human beings; we can experience God (see Lk 1:41); we can know love, be nourished, and grow. However, when we are born, a whole new world opens up for us. Death is the birth by which we are transferred from the womb of earthly life to the light of heavenly life. We know this because we know Life itself, Jesus Christ, the Baby born at Bethlehem.
Prayer: Father, may I not abort myself by sin.
Promise: “The darkness is over and the real light begins to shine.” —1 Jn 2:8
Praise: St. Thomas studied law and became Chancellor of England. As Archbishop of Canterbury, he defended the Church against King Henry II’s unorthodox innovations. Shortly after, Henry ordered Thomas’ assassination.
Reference: (For a related teaching on Am I Going to Heaven?, order, listen to, or download our CD 54-3 or DVD 54 on our website.)
Rescript: "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 14, 2020"
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