Just about every survey result on people's greatest fears will list "death" in the top three. Usually, its numero uno.
I thought about that a lot this week, especially coming off last weekend's Gospel (Mk 13:24-32). Death, and the End of Time, are always described so ominously. It's no wonder just the thought of it worries us.
But should it?
Imagine if we got to interview someone who had passed away and gone to Heaven.
When asked what Heaven is like, I imagine they would tell us that Heaven is perfect. It is a place of beauty. A place of joy. There are no tears, no crying, no anxiety, and no pain. Angels rejoice. Love is abundant. Peace is overflowing. In short, it is Paradise.
But when asked what Earth was like, in retrospect, they might tell us it is a place of sin, anxiety, and sorrow. A place where there is little harmony, and even less peace. A place where there is far from enough prayer, love and honor. A place where people kill each other, born and unborn out of spite, fear, hatred, and greed. And a place where people worry about possessions more often than they worry about serving the Lord.
After those responses, we might be tempted to ask them one more question...
So, what exactly were you so afraid of again?