It’s something Leo said that gave me a whole new perspective on death, resurrection and Jesus.
Of course, we have been singing about the mystery of “Time” for centuries in the Christian church – “A thousand ages in your sight are like an evening gone.” And “Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all who breathe away.”
It’s the solution to the riddle Gollum puts to Bilbo. It’s what we want to save in a bottle. It’s what so many of us say we want more of. And, according to Pope Leo, it is now where death lives. Jesus, says Leo, “did away with the everlasting character of death so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity.”
That’s the difference Christ makes – taking the “forever” out of death and placing our dying squarely and exclusively within the boundaries of “time”. Such a faith doesn’t remove the grief when loved ones die or when we come face to face with our own death; but it does give us hope that says to us: Dying is not forever. This is the faith of Mary and Martha in John 11. It is the faith Christians take with us as we stand once again on the brink of Holy Week.
It is the belief that one day, death is going to run out of time.
A blessed Tuesday.