13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Have you ever tried to imagine the new heavens and new earth? I know that I have. I see myself surrounded by all my friends and relatives including the ones who died when I was a small child or before I was born, listening to their stories and sharing mine. I picture a peaceful atmosphere full of the smell of flowers and the glow of the sun, and all around me the feeling of being loved. Of course, there’s a catch in this passage – being found without defect and blameless in the sight of God. None of us is without defect or blameless under our own power. Therefore, we need God’s help to achieve this, and even with God’s help, we have a lot of work to do! Peter believed, as did all the early Christians, that Jesus would be coming back soon. They would have been surprised to know that two thousand years later, we would still be waiting. But the challenge is still the same. We need to do our best to live our lives following the way that Jesus showed us just as they did. I once heard someone say that it is easier to die once for Christ than to live each day for Christ. The first is a decision made once; the second is the decision to live for Christ every day. Every day we need to make choices to love, to forgive, to be truthful, and to be faithful, in our dealings with ourselves and with all those we meet. The older I get, the closer to that “new heavens and new earth” I get. Although my children might like me to live forever, I know that that is unrealistic! Because of my faith in the promise of Jesus, death holds no fear. May you be able to say the same.
Loving God, you sent us Jesus so that we would know that this life is not the end, but the beginning. Please give us the graces we need to be found without defect and blameless in your sight at the moment of our deaths. Amen.