Wednesday, October 4, 2023

HomeFeaturesFlying for the Final Paycheck! ( Fr. T J. Puliyan, MSFS)

Flying for the Final Paycheck! ( Fr. T J. Puliyan, MSFS)


I used to fly kites as a kid and always enjoyed it, especially when my little hands made them. It made me proud of myself, boosted my self-confidence, and helped me to understand some of the things I could do as a kid. It made me feel good (like any other kid would) that I could give life to a piece of paper otherwise dead, fly high in the skies, and be led by the wind to bring joy and purpose into the lives of other kids. It helped me to understand my capabilities and improved my perspective on life, knowing I was born into a world with enormous opportunities and possibilities.

Looking at the sky was always a fascination for me as a kid and even now, especially when the clouds are drifting slowly and gently.
Some time ago, I officiated a funeral service for one of our parishioners who died of a heart attack at 45. I knew him personally as a regular attendee in my parish. This service was held outside in the church garden.

After the rosary and brief service, the family and those in attendance released balloons while the flutist played in the background. Some of the balloons were tied together, and others individually. It was undoubtedly an emotional moment for us to look at the balloons rising to the skies and being led by the wind. All the balloons were going to an unknown destination, but they were all together.

The balloons did not know, nor did we know where they were going. Everyone’s feet automatically turned in the same direction where the balloons were moving. This was an automatic and reflexive reaction then; we were unaware of it. Everyone stood in complete silence, holding their breath, possibly with different thoughts in their minds.

While looking at the sky, I thought about flying away of human souls after death to that of those balloons. The only difference was that the balloons might not know where they were going as the wind led them, but the human souls knew where they were heading. They are not led by the wind but driven by the cosmic energy that unites the Creator and the creature. The number of people dying daily in different parts of the world for different reasons upsets me and sometimes even amazes me.

After completing their job here on earth, these souls fly to their Master to obtain their final paychecks in different forms and shapes, just as we would earn our paychecks at the end of the workweek or the end of the work month.
The reunion is a beautiful experience, and getting rewarded for our hard work here on earth is also a glorious experience. However, the most painful and challenging experience is the release of the soul from our human bodies, which we call “death.” It is difficult for the dying and even more difficult for the loved ones left behind. The hard reality is that we all must pass through this narrow gate of death one day. There is no escape from this truth, but only to accept it peacefully and gracefully.

I think life after death will be fun, or at least that is what our faith tells us, provided we prepare for it during our preparatory time here on earth! After all, this is a short period of a few years compared to the eternity we believe awaits us. We can surely pass the test with flying colors on the last day by focusing on what is right and best for us and others while we are here! Let us learn to live our lives more by looking upward rather than around! We are unsure when and where balloons will be released to the skies in memory of you and me. Let us stay tuned!

Fr. T J. Puliyan, MSFS



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