God of love, hold us fast throughout our days, so that we may never feel the emptiness of separation, the void of being alone, the sense of being lost. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
One to two minutes
The sting of death, as St. Paul writes, is sin, and the reality of sin is separation, separation from God and from each other. From the recent movie, Shipwrecked, to the horror stories of solitary confinement, being isolated, alone, cut off from human contact is the greatest fear we in our hearts. Even though from time to time it’s a relief to spend time alone, to get a breather from others, it is life-essential for us to be in communion with each other. Loneliness, home sickness, longing are some of the most humanly poignant emotions, all representations of the reality of separation. This is probably the most disconcerting reality about death – it separates us from each other, it cuts us off from our friends, our loved one. So it is that Paul has in mind when he pens these words of our reading to his dear Thessalonians. All of us face this ultimate separation with a degree of fear. The reality of our faith, however, is that in Jesus Christ, all, the living and the dead, will be brought together again, united in him, for “we shall always be with the Lord.” How this happens? Paul is a bit sketchy here except to describe a rather “out of this world” event of reuniting. Nonetheless, “comfort each other with these words.”
Action – Repentance and Creation:
Reach out and touch someone today with whom you have been out of touch for too long. Don’t let another day go by without communing with them.