Death was born on a flaming day. At least that is how she remembered it. She came alive on a day lit up by a blazing fire, a fire that came from an immense sword held by an angel. The angel was guarding the door to a place she, Death, never saw. At first, Death felt like a stranger, roaming around, feeling lost. Then she saw a beautiful white bird. She stroked the feathers on the bird's back But as soon as she touched the bird, it fell at her feet, cold and still. That's when Death discovered her terrible power.
As the years flowed into eternity, Death traveled with them, touching this animal, that bird, this fish or that flower. Death also noticed that there was a different sort of creature, a creature that held in their faces a strange reflection of God. This creature was called man. The creature was made in the image of God; but still, the creature called human would also become cold and lifeless when Death touched it.
As the centuries turned into millennia and thousands of years, Death claimed all living things for her own. She also learned that of all the creatures, human beings feared her most. They shrank from her. They tried to pretend she didn't exist. They engaged in denial and circumlocution, speaking "passing away" rather than of dying. Sometimes Death smiled at the humans' fear of her, and she enjoyed her power over them. At other times she wept bitterly because she was lonely and because she sensed that there was something about these human creatures she could not understand.
One day, as the story goes, tired and weary, Death sat on a hill beneath three crosses on which three men were being executed. She did not feel like touching any of these men. She was tired; she was lonely.
Suddenly she heard a voice say, "I thirst." She looked up and her gaze met two fathomless eyes. From their depths flowed a brilliant, warm, blue light, the like of which she had never experienced before. Instantly she stood up and walked just a few paces away from the man who hung between the other two. She wanted more than ever to touch him with love and respect, but she dared not do so. Then his eyes called to her in a wordless message. She did not know how it happened, but gently, ever so gently, she touched his cheek. He seemed for an instant to smile for her alone. Then, like all those before him, he closed his eyes and became lifeless and cold.
She could not believe it. Somehow she knew that he was different from all the others. So she lingered awhile. She saw him taken down from the cross. She saw his mother hold his lifeless body and cradle him. She saw him being carried off into a grave hollowed out in a cave. Then, just as soldiers were about to roll a stone to the entrance of the cave, Death entered the cave.
What passed then, no human being will ever know. But one thing is certain. On the following Sunday, two days after he had been taken down from the cross, some women came to the tomb and found that it was empty. Death was not there. And ever since that Sunday morning, all who look upon Death with the eyes of faith see her differently. They know that Love is Life, and Death is now the gate to eternal life.