Just the other day, I had a very surreal experience. I celebrated Mass for a family in their mausoleum to remember and pray for their loved ones who moved on to the next life. During the final hymn, the choir sang “Happy Birthday.” Although it would be my birthday the next day, I said to myself, “We are celebrating death, and they are singing about birth.” “We are praying for eternal life and they are celebrating life on earth.” Then a quote came to mind: “Every birthday is a reminder that mortality is just around the corner.”
At first, it may sound morbid. Upon deeper reflection though, it is full of wisdom. The Gospel talks about Eternal Life. When one is reminded of his or her mortality even during birthdays, three things are learned:
- Life is short and swift. How many years is a person given here on earth? Some may reach their 90s and even more. Even though, that is just a short time in the eyes of mortality. Our parents, uncles, and aunts who we thought were old when we were children during family reunions – we are them now. Make every moment count.
- Relationships come and go. The cycle of life is always hello and goodbye. People come to our lives for a reason, and people leave and say goodbye for a reason. In between, never take for granted relationships.
- What is important and what is fleeting in life. “Will this matter in the eternal life?” This a question that we should ask ourselves when we can be so consumed by the things of this world. The only things we bring to the next life are the acts of kindness we have shown other people.
In each Mass, three prayers:
- Good times or difficult times, God is faithful.
- God has a plan, he knows what is best.
- Enjoy the journey on earth, for life eternal.