Death is inevitable, but after death what next? We worry a lot about death and forget the after life. In today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Luke (Lk 20:27-38), some Sadducees who questioned Jesus were worried about whose wife the widow who married the seven brothers would be at the resurrection. Doesn’t it sounds a little bit strange? Yes it does! They weren’t worried about the after-life but about her marriage. We do the same thing too, we worry a lot about death but not the after-life. So if you were told by God that you were going to die today, what would worry you the most, the things you owned or the people you will be leaving behind on earth or the place you are going to - heaven or hell, or what you will have where you are going? Late Father Mark Link S.J. told a story about an ancient morality play called 'Everyman', a name that means "all of us." In that play, God sends Death to tell Everyman that his life on earth is over. When Everyman recovers from shock, he asks Death to give him time to ask some friends to accompany him on the journey. Death obliges. Everyman asks his friends - Wealth, Fame and Power to accompany him, but they refused. In the end, he was able to persuade just one friend to join him on this journey, that friend was Good Works.

My dear friends in Christ, when death comes for us, the only thing that matters will be where we are going and that depends on how we have lived our lives on earth. How prepared are we for death and the afterlife? Today’s first reading tells us a story of people who were prepared for the afterlife and knew where they are going and stood firm in the face of death. The first reading from the second Book of Maccabees (2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14) tells us the story about the arrest, torture and death of seven brothers with their mother. These men and their mother stood firm in their faith and beliefs and they were martyred for it. They were strong in faith and this didn’t happen overnight. Their faith was built on answering their call to discipleship by hearing the voice of God, listening to that voice, accepting the word of God and living out the word of God and this lifestyle was solidified over the years by constant practice with failures and victories. Saint Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thes 2:16-3:5), our second reading today, reminds us of how to deepen our faith in God by encouraging our hearts and strengthening them in every good deed and word. St. Paul also emphasized the importance of directing our hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ. Are our hearts directed to the love of God? Do we truly and sincerely love God? If we do, how have we shown that love of God in our thoughts, words and actions today? Are we directing our hearts to the endurance of Christ, which means, are we standing firm in God in our trials, persecutions, and sufferings? Do we endure all these for Christ’s sake because He suffered and died for us? Do we give up easily when faced with such situations or when we have such encounters?

My dear brothers and sisters, it is time to think about the afterlife especially as we come to the end of the Church’s liturgical year. It is time to find out if we are really preparing well to be with God in Heaven or not. It is time to start making changes in our lives so as to attain that kingdom of heaven set apart for us after our lives here on earth. Amen!