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Friday, 13 March 2015


I know too many people who have not made out wills. This means, in England, that some, if not all the estate goes to the crown.

In America, it means that families fall into arguments which sometimes go on for years. One family I knew years ago argued over an aunt's will to the point of demanding that even the lamps in her house be part of a settlement and that this couple would not agree to a settlement without getting the lamps. Now, these lamps may have been interesting and worth something, but to hold up the settlement of a will because of lighting seems daft to me. And, to cause family dissension for years is simply sinful.

I know why people do not make wills, even those men and women who are very, very old. They fear death. They do not want to face that last day when they have to show God all the merits of heaven which they have gained, because, perhaps, they have not done this.

Several people I know have huge estates and no will. They cannot face death; and their health lies to them by making them think they will go on forever.

Less than a month ago, a woman young and beautiful, died of hypothermia because of an accident at her home. She did not expect to die young. What she had gained for God and His Church would be demanded of her on that day a month ago. The shock of untimely deaths should remind us all that we need spiritual wills, as well as physical ones.

Today's Gospel reminds us of our debt to God and our debt to our neighbors.

Wills in the spiritual life are your and my list of merits, gained through the mercy of God alone.

Have you made a spiritual will?

Mark 12:28-34Revised Standard Version (RSV)

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any question.