All of us are born into this world with a deep and insatiable longing for Paradise. Perhaps we are not even aware of it. Most of us bury it beneath the mire of our passions; we try to satisfy this pure and holy desire with the trinkets and amusements of this fallen world. We become as ships tossed to and fro, as wanderers amid the wasteland of this life, consumed by a gnawing hunger for we know not what. But no matter how we might try to slake our endless, unquenchable desire, we all — like the Prodigal Sons that we are — always end up finding ourselves enslaved to our passions, perishing with hunger, and very, very far away from home.
When we consider our death, do we approach it with a dreadful fear of God, or do we approach it with a sober and conscientious love toward God?
In today’s epistle reading, the Apostle Paul is writing to his spiritual son Timothy, and this will be the last epistle that the Apostle will ever write, because, as he says, “the time of my departure is at hand,” (2 Tim. 4.6ff) because he is soon to go on to Rome where he will be executed and die a martyr’s death under Nero.