2nd November 2022
Rt. Rev. Keerthisiri Fernando

Commemoration of our departed brethren

What is death? This is a question we ask at every memorial service or requiem mass. This is something very hard to explain. Today we remember all our brothers and sisters who have gone before us. We are here because we still love them although they are not with us physically. That's why it is written in the Bible that even death cannot separate us from the love of Christ.

Do you think that we believe in life after death? In fact, we Christians do not believe in life after death. Then what do we believe in? We believe in life after life. What does this mean and how can we comprehend this reality? According to Biblical teachings up to a certain extent, this can be explained through a growing seed. Seed is different from the plant that it produces. Different in size, shape and functions. But that plant comes from the seed. Plants and seeds are inseparable. They are intertwined. Seed is gradually transformed into a plant. Our life after life is something similar to this reality.

We know that the Gospel of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ was the kingdom of God. He wanted us his disciples to become citizens of this kingdom. That's why in the Lord's prayer he taught us to say – I quote

"Thy Kingdom come and they will be done on earth as it is in heaven" - Matthew 6:10

un quote. Which means that we can be in his kingdom here and now. But it won't end with our death it continues. This is something similar to the relationship between the seed and the plant.

In this regard at times, people think that science and religion are very different. But even in the field of science, a scientist called Dolton proved scientifically that no power could be created or destroyed but one power is transformed into another. Even according to this scientific theory at death, this power called life should be transformed into another power.

Therefore today as we give thanks to God for the life and work of our brothers and sisters, we rejoice in the fact that some of our brothers and sisters were persons who tried to live as citizens of His kingdom while they were physically alive. As this kingdom is not confined to time or space they continue to be in the realm of this kingdom. This kingdom is a state of being where our brothers and sisters are still alive.

And also as we thank God for the lives and ministries of our brothers and sisters we are reminded that their destiny is our destiny as well. Therefore let us commit ourselves to live as faithful citizens of his kingdom here and now. Then when the day comes for each of us to have this transformation called death we will not be anxious to face this unavoidable reality.

May God the Ultimate Reality be with you!