Saturday, November 12, 2011

Looking ahead

'Why wait until the end of our lives?'  

By Father Perry D. Leiker

Many people, at the end of their lives, make an accounting of what they have done, what they have achieved, and they assess the value of their lives. But the question could be fairly asked: “Why wait until the end of our lives?”

At the end of every church year we look at the end times and ask ourselves these questions but for a very specific reason. The scriptures use end times readings (eschatological) not to think differently about the future, but rather, the present. If we see where things are going and what the possible outcomes may be, it can give us a special insight as to what we need to change about the present. But another very useful opportunity arises through this eschatological questioning.

Put bluntly, we ask ourselves: “Are we ready?” Are we ready to let go of our own life? Are we ready to let go of those whom we love? Literally, are we prepared?

On Nov. 21, we will celebrate our annual Mass for the deceased — for those who died during this last year. Families of these deceased will come and participate in this Mass to remember and honor their dead. Our Bereavement Committee, who helps families at their time of loss and accompanies them through the rituals and services, also would like to assist families to plan for the difficult and painful experience of death.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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