How does a Christian Overcome Death?
Author: Mauricio Ochoa Urioste | Source: Catholic.net
The Professor of Theology at P. Comillas University, Nurya Martínez-Gayol Fernández, has written in the magazine Sal Terrae, a beautiful essay dedicated to understanding how to defeat "in Christian terms" to death. In short, the author indicates in the first place that there is no other way to overcome death than to live, attending to the principle that there is no other life but this and its eternity.
Indeed, from the Christ event, salvation has begun on earth. Therefore, in our own sense, we should affirm, "there is no other life." This life, our present life, interwoven from the past, from experiences, from relationships, and always leaning forward is what is and will be eternal.
John's gospel is clear in this regard. Life is in the Logos (Jn 1, 4). The Logos has incarnated with one purpose: to give us life and it in abundance (Jn 1, 14; Jn 10, 10). Receiving that life is a kind of "new birth" (Jn 1, 13; Jn 3, 5). From this new birth, that life becomes a current reality, it is already possessed. The germ of this new birth is faith; so that "he who believes has life" (Jn 6, 184.108.40.206) or "eternal life", which in John are equivalent magnitudes. Therefore, life is only one and that life is eternal. In addition, this life that awaits us will embrace in its eternity not only the human being with its history, but nature as part of God's original project for everything created (cf. Rev 21.1; Is 65.17; 2 Pe 3.13).
Henceforth, eternal life can only be thought as the salvation of the entire human being - it is his dual bodily and spiritual unity - (Resurrection); salvation of humanity (Communion of Saints) and salvation of the whole reality (New Creation). In short, the Christian defeats death by living, to the extent that he discovers the dimension of eternity that inhabits his present and puts in it the commitment of his existence.
The second great vehicle to overcome death is to love, because love is the creator of eternity. Therefore, the fact that "man is a being for death" - as Heidegger, states - is not the whole truth. Man is not for death, but for life. Moreover, the way to defeat death as the ultimate destination is call love. Love as the strongest proof of the immortality of the self.
MARTÍNEZ-GAYOL, Nurya, Beating “in Christian” death, in Sal Terrae Magazine, February 2019, Volume 107, Madrid.