There is an afterlife. Life for humans continues on after death.
Life after death is everlasting and it means resurrection of the body. That means once you get to everlasting life, you’ve made it and you will have your body–your very self–perfected. We are created in God’s image and each of us is special, unique, and important. Salvation is an invitation by God. All creation was made by God; salvation comes from Christ and is offered to everyone. But it is our yes to God that determines whether we are saved or damned. We must say yes to salvation if we are to be saved. No one goes to heaven or hell against their will. Eternal life is heaven for those who are united with God through Christ. Heaven is absolute unity with God, perfect contentment, eternal joy. I always like to suggest that people think of the best place they’ve ever been, the best day they’ve ever had and think of heaven as a zillion times better.
I’d like to ask the parents and family members to talk with one another about the basic things our faith believes about life after death. In the first reading we heard today, seven sons gave up their lives for their faith. What kept them strong was the sure and certain hope that they would live on in glory after death. To me, life after death is one of the strongest incentives to be good here on earth. Jesus was so up-front about this. Believe in me, he says, and you live forever. Don’t you want to live forever, don’t you want to live in glory, don’t you want to go to heaven?