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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan: a Cold Reminder of Man's Fragile Hold on Life

On Ash Wednesday, priests all over the world signed Catholic faithful with ashes in the sign of the cross saying, "Remember, Man, that you are dust and unto dust you must return." What could be a more graphic reminder that death is our final end and no one escapes it? That the terrible tragedy in Japan should occur only two days later is a cold reminder of man's fragile hold on life. Like the people in Genesis who were "eating and drinking, marrying and being married" right up until the day of the flood, we do not know the day of our death. It can overcome us in the blink of an eye like those who saw the reality of death in the approaching waves of the tsunami.

We need to be prepared at every moment. Life is fragile. One will live a long life and die in his bed. Another will be snatched in the instant of a massive heart attack or stroke or auto accident. We are guaranteed nothing except the inevitability of death.

My niece's husband used to work for a car rental agency. One day thieves came into the office with ski masks on their faces and guns in their hands. They forced all the employees to kneel on the floor and put their jackets over their heads. John anticipated death at that moment and began to say the Act of Contrition out loud. The gunmen took the money and left. Were they planning to kill the employees? Did John's humble act change their hearts?

Life is fragile and uncertain. Death is often sudden and always certain. When was the last time you went to Confession? If the Lord called you today would your spiritual house be in order?

Pray and sacrifice for the poor people of Japan. And ask the Lord to bring great good out of this terrible tragedy.

1 comment:

Old Bob said...

GREAT post, Mary Ann! Thank you!!