Fruitfulness and Death
"I want to leave with you, in the end, that very deep word that Jesus says about death: "It is for your good that I'm going, because unless I got I cannot send you my Spirit." That word has to be rediscovered.
Jesus, who died in his early thirties and who spoke about his death from the very beginning of his proclamation, is saying that his death is not the end but the beginning. It is not something to be afraid of, but something that opens a whole new world. Death is the place that allows him to send his love, his Spirit, his deepest self.
And somehow, preparing ourselves for our death, helping others prepare themselves for theirs, means that we realize that our spirits and theirs will touch generations yet to come. Yes, we have to die with Christ, but we will be raised with Christ so as to send the Spirit of Christ.
This morning's reading was from the book of Sirach, about those whom we have buried but who are here with us, continuing to send us their wisdom so we can live. Do we really believe that? It means that I will be around for generations because I keep sending my spirit, my spirit which is from God ans isn't going to die. In fact, that spirit was given to me, not just for these thirty or fifty or seventy years, but so that it can bear fruit long after my life on earth is over. It is precisely my vulnerability, my brokenness, and my death which allow me to be fruitful.
"Fruitful," not "successful." And therefore, the main question is not "How much can I still do?" although that's not unimportant. The main question is, "How can I make my life fruitful? How can my dying be not the end of fruitfulness but rather its fullest realization?"
Jesus lived that way, and we are called to live that way too.
Then we may be able, gently, to let people who are dying discover that they are going to bear fruit far into the future, beyond their lifetimes. I think that's good news. really good news!"