The Rewards of the Afterlife

TUESDAY: Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time


The Rewards of the Afterlife

God decisively created humans to reflect his glory, his holiness and to partake in his imperishable nature. Christ echoed the same sentiments (Jn.3:16). Paul did the same when he assured us God created us in Christ Jesus to live forever (Phil.2:10). Most importantly, the death of Christ ensured our salvation and our redemption and gave us the assurance we are destined to live with God (1Thess.5:9-10).

In the eyes of God, death is a temporary solution. It is a means through which God protects the integrity of the souls of the righteous from further evil and torment. At death, God separates the sheep from the goats. He rewards each one according to his/her stewardship (Matt.25:31-46; Matt.16:27; Rom.2:6). To the righteous, God promised a banquet of rich food and fine wine, an end to their sorrow and distress, and bless them with eternal joy (Is.25:6-12). In other words, God will bring to fulfilment the messianic banquet, which he prefigured in the Good Shepherd Psalm.

Wisdom 2:23-3:9 is an overwhelming encouragement, a real spiritual enticement to draw all the impious children back to God. It inspires faith; it encourages conversion; it offers humankind a glorious and rewarding future with God. It offers everyone the fullness of life Christ came into this world to bring as opposed to the destructive plans of the devil (Jn.10:10).

Given the licentious culture in which we live today, thoughtless of the life after death, the author of wisdom helps us remember the flesh, the din, the glamour of this life and the world are all passing realities. However true wisdom is to pursue righteousness if we really want to enjoy God’s eternal protection completely freed from torment in the afterlife. Luke 17:7-10, is a beautiful summary of the first reading. We are all children and stewards of God. We must live in expectation of accomplishing our mission and our duty on earth so that we can enjoy the messianic banquet and eternal presence of the Father and the Son in the kingdom of heaven where we shall live and reign in union with the Father and the Son forever.

O God, in faith, strengthen me to fulfil my mission and stewardship here in this life on earth that my soul may dwell in your hands forever in the afterlife.

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