• Elpidio Pezzella

Before death

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me;

I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” (Psalm 116:3-4 NIV)

Speaking of death is always difficult for the instinctive repulsion of everyone. Yet we are a country that is increasingly aging and as a result we are forced to deal with a progressive increase in mortality. The cry of the psalmist "Lord, save me!" Arises from a situation of disturbance and anguish, all of us familiar along the path of this life. Yet it is found in a psalm of thanksgiving, in which the praying thank the Lord because his petition was heard. The certainty that leads us to prayer is that God has the ear to our listening. He is not deaf to those who turn to Him. For this reason, whatever the circumstances, even when the scope of pain seems to overwhelm us, the believing heart lifts its voice: "Lord, deliver me". The psalm then reveals to us "I believed therefore I spoke" (116:10). The certainty of being heard has its roots in faith in a merciful, compassionate and just God who does not extinguish the smoking wick. The proposal of the psalm is a torch of hope and encouragement for every believer who, in every time and in every place, finds himself experiencing the evil in every form it presents. For however and everywhere we will add: "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV). In thinking of death, then on November 2 and in the days before it is noted in the vicinity of a cemetery a way without stopping. What is usually the place of crying and detachment seems to have become a window on the other side of the world for a short time. Someone will remember the opening stanza of the poem A 'livella by Antonio De Curtis, aka Totò, which recalls a duty commanded by the Catholic religious tradition. The dead and with them the cemetery are part of each of us, as well as of the collective imagination. Around them are fears and dreams, family stories and imaginative legends, hopes and despair. The care of the niches, the embellishment of the tomb, the lighting of lights and lamps of various shapes and sizes seems to be a way to give life back to those who now have left only the body (if still there). But if you talk to people there are those who believe that this is a way to give peace to the souls that go around, aquire the soul of the relative who had been made a rude: the legacy of a popular religiosity without any biblical foundation. We should all strive to manifest our feelings for the loved ones God has placed around us, and if we really want to offer a flower in memory of the deceased loved ones, let us do it in silence without seeking the approval of someone. Aware of the constant closeness of death, let us strive to live the present in the blessed hope of resurrection together with all the saints, if anything the Lord should not return first, to be always with him according to what was declared by the apostle Paul: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV).

Devotional 44/2018 Weekly Bible reading plan October 29 Jeremiah 18-19; 2 Timothy 3 October 30 Jeremiah 20-21; 2 Timothy 4 October 31 Jeremiah 22-23; Titus 1 November 1 Jeremiah 24-26; Titus 2 November 2 Jeremiah 27-29; Titus 3 November 3 Jeremiah 30-31; Philemon November 4 Jeremiah 32-33; Hebrews 1

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