These are very hopeful and consoling words from today’s First Reading:
“The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them. . . . ;
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.”
I often wonder if men invented heaven to right all the wrongs there are in this life in this valley of tears, and of fears, and of injustice, and of oppression.
I often wonder if there is indeed life after death when everything eventually dies. But there in men a deep longing for justice and a balancing of scores. Why do evil men flourish and the good seem to suffer? Surely, there must be an after-life where oppressors and evil men get their comeuppance. Who will protect the weak from the depredations of the strong? Who will punish the the wicked for the evil they have done unto others? Or, why do some people seem to live all the life in ease and luxury while the many are living in pain and misery? Surely, there must be a time and place where the good and the just shall rejoice and exult.
Yes, there must be life after death, where evildoers and do-gooders all get their just rewards. But isn’t that merely wishful thinking? Isn’t life after death just a pipe dream?
But even science today affirms everlasting life. Matter and energy never destroyed. They are merely changed into other forms, shape, or configuration. In chemical reactions, nothing is lost or destroyed. Everything that goes into such reaction all comes out in one form or another.
I can understand that. Once something is, it can never not be anymore. It lives and goes on forever. But will this consciousness that is Me-I-Myself persist and live on when the material composition that make me up finally disintegrate or rots away? It seems to be so. Embedded deep in men’s consciousness is also the awareness of persistence. All human history attest to this; even though there have always been doubters like me.
There is for years now the SETI project. This project is based on the hypothesis that in this universe of billions of galaxies and trillions of planets; there must be other intelligent beings out there. Till now, the search has come up with nothing, no sightings at all. Similarly, we can hypothesize that because matter is indestructible and eternal, there must be life after death or LAD. And in contrast to the SETI project, there have been many sightings of that LAD have been reported in near-death experiences. The most compelling book I have read on this is Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander
‘In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.’