24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Rom 14:8

Survivor’s Guilt is a mental condition in which a survivor of a traumatic event experiences symptoms of remorse and self-hatred for having survived. The degree and complexity of the condition can vary from individual to individual and depend on the nature of the event, but the fact of the matter remains that the reason some people survive certain catastrophic events and others do not is a mystery. Why? Why do some people survive their illnesses while others do not? Who is at fault? Were there not enough prayers offered? Was there fault with the healthcare provider or the family of the patient? What could have been done differently?

These types of questions, though they can at times help to identify the cause of these tragedies, are ultimately less than helpful since they can place us in the continual state of straining after answers that cannot be grasped in this life. Trust in God’s providential guidance of the universe, which he governs with perfect wisdom and love, alleviates us of the duty to resolve all of these questions here and now. But we do know this: both in life and in death, man was created to know, love and serve God. As long as I live, I live to continue my work at knowing, loving, and serving God with all my being. When I die, Deo volente, I will die in Christ and so continue to know, love, and serve God in eternity. So, whether I die today, die tomorrow, or die 50 years from now, my life and my death are the Lord’s and none other’s.

Fr. Richard Hinkley