A message given to our Seniors at our church.
We are all aging, some better than others but we are all in this process. Our country is getting older. Statistics say that in the next decades, those who are 65 years or older will increase from 15% to 24% of the total population. This can be encouraging or discouraging depending on how you see it.
Personally, I know that I have reached my 53rd birthday and I can see some of the effects of aging. We all expect it but we don’t really get it until we are there.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this dilemma of the outer wear, our aging bodies and what this all means for us as Christians. We don’t have to dismiss this process and just “normal” and live the best we can until we die. St. Paul was an example of how to live life for Christ. He lived over 60 years before suffering martyrdom.
When he wrote the second letter to the Corinthians, he defended his apostleship by reminding them all the physical suffering he went through to share the Gospel with them. He went through a lot of hard persecution. He said that his body carried the “stigmata”, the marks of Christ. These marks showed the life of Christ to others. In other words, the marks were a testimony of who Christ was for him when he shared the Gospel. He offered them as proof. Even though he was in a sense “dying” in his physical body, this was life for those who heard the Gospel. But he knew his time for death could be approaching. Yet he confidently stated his body would someday be resurrected and we would all enjoy the presence of Jesus.