Concerning Eternal Life

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<bible>John 17:1-8<bible>

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Throughout all time people have searched for a higher form of spiritual, divine and eternal life. They have searched using any number of methods and there are innumerable faiths and philosophies that have tried to answer life's eternal questions. But you and I address these questions to our One Lord and Savior. Today in the Gospel you heard His words, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” Simply put, eternal life is already manifest and begins in this present existence. The only essential is to know the One Lord and the One who appeared for our salvation, Jesus Christ.

But how can we possibly know Him? For this knowledge everything has already been given. First of all, His word, which is heard in the Holy Scriptures. Listen carefully to Christ's words and you will come to know Him. Read His words carefully, as though they were addressed personally to you. In that moment of desperation, when you ask yourself how to go on, not just anyone will answer you, but the Lord Himself. To know God means to love Him, for in the Holy Scriptures, the word “to know” someone means to be in love with him. To love the One God and the One through which He revealed Himself-our Lord Jesus. This is the essence of eternal life, our source of inspiration, joy, wisdom, confidence, patience and victory. To live with the Lord means to already have eternal life in your heart. Not this frantic life, which often resembles an unending rat race or a train which has jumped the tracks and is racing downhill. Not that life which resembles dying, dissolution, but that existence which flies upward toward heaven, to the Lord. This is eternal life-to know the Father, to know the Son through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

And everyone has access to this life. Regardless of age or intellect, whether scientist or illiterate, a person can know God with his heart. One must turn to Him, address Him and then the truest sign of faith will appear-knowledge of the Lord. Know the Lord and you will no longer doubt or waiver, will no longer be depressed or afraid. You will overcome your fears, laziness, resistance to change and all our earthly human imperfections. Know the Lord and you will discover the True Guide who will lead you throughout life. You will see His signposts along the road, and his sign is the Cross that shines before us. And the Cross means that even in the greatest suffering, God is there, God lives, God is with us.

He appeared among us in order to give His entire Self, so that we might live a divine, heavenly, Christian life. He taught us how to do this. Experience the Lord and you will realize what the words mean that we heard today in the Acts of the Apostles: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” These are the words of the Savior Himself. Know the Lord and you will discover the joy of self-sacrifice, the joy of serving your neighbor, that is, those whom you come in contact with.

By such a life, we learn that eternal life is not only when we pass the final boundary which separates us from death, but something we can experience even now. It is like a star, like an inextinguishable fire that flows from us during our earthly existence. Burning in the darkness of our earthly path, it will guide us to the unending space of God’s kingdom, when our mortal bodies are no more than dust. Eternal life-this is life with God, in God, in His love, His mystery. To His divine love there is only one way to respond, with a return love. This love for God and others is indicative of our knowledge of the Lord and a hallmark of eternal life. Amen.