MEDITATION TIP —32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 6, 2022

“We all live by God” (cf. Luke 20:38).

 Today I will speak from a different perspective than usual. 13.8 billion years ago, the universe was created by a huge explosion of subatomic particles at a very high temperature and pressure. This is known as the “Big Bang Theory.” The earth was born 4.6 billion years ago, and life on earth began 4 billion years ago. Life was first generated in the oceans and eventually expanded to the land. Originally, there was no oxygen on the earth, but plants were born, and produced oxygen through photosynthesis, creating an environment in which animals, including humans, could live. Eventually, humans evolved and came to possess advanced reason and a soul different from those of other animals, and they began to hope for the eternity of their souls even after death, that is, “the hope that God will raise them up again” (Maccabees 7:14). Thus, they came to believe in God and to desire to avoid conflict and to live in peace, but as Paul says, “Not all have faith.” (1 Thessalonians 3:5)

 The situation where Russia is invading Ukraine is exactly the same as in World War II and shows that humanity has learned nothing from history. Whenever such conflicts occur, I think that human society is actually not evolving. While science and technology seem to be evolving, our minds are not evolving, and because we want to advance technology with that unevolved mind, science and technology also fall into the wrong direction. That is why we need God at all times. Because “all people live by God,” we have a mission to judge what is right and what is wrong, and to urge those who live off the path without knowing God to correct it and turn to Him. Then, as in the First Reading from the Book of Maccabees, we tell those who leave the world believing in God in the midst of suffering that they are promised eternal life, and the faith of such people sustains the souls of those who follow them and help them evolve.

 It is precisely because there is death that the energy of life, that is, the soul, is immortal. Just as each person has a different face, personality, and individuality, each person’s given life span is also different. What is important is not merely whether you live a long life or not, but how fulfilling your life has been. A doctor who took care of a 16-year-old girl, seeing as she thanked God and her parents, the doctors and nurses, as the light of her life was quietly extinguished, said with deep emotion that it was a wonderful death that fulfilled the life that had been given to her. Although this girl’s life seemed superficially terminated by death, her soul, the energy of her life, continued to live on as new life, causing the souls of those who were involved with her to evolve.

 How to live can be answered through thinking and literature, but the question of how to face the end of one’s life still requires the help of religion. Yet, religion is difficult to acquire through a cursory study. Therefore, we need to carefully think about “this brief period of time called life” from a young age, not just before we die, and find a religion to which we can entrust our view of life and death.

      (Father Akabae)