Today's reading from The book of wisdom opens with a fierce image. God coming down from heaven:
And as he alighted, he filled every place with death; he still reached to heaven, while he stood upon the earth.
But once more we have an example of a reading that cannot be taken out of context. The very next passage reads:
For all creation, in its several kinds, was being made over anew, serving its natural laws, that your children might be preserved unharmed.
The passage then goes on to recall images from the Exodus.
No matter how Christian we are, we still tend to think of death as a bad thing. We think of death as the end. Even at Catholic hospitals you will hear talks on "end-of-life issues." We often use a phrase like that without even realizing how un-Christian it is.
We have to constantly be called back to Catholic 101. At the second coming of Christ all will be raised. Some to eternal life and God's presence, heaven. Something to eternal life separated from God and others, hell. But the idea that the end of earthly life is the end for anyone is simply wrong.