I replied that it actually, doesn’t really matter whether it is only a few or a vast number of people who feel the way that he did. The important thing is to understand what God wants us to know about those things, particularly “death.”
A chapter entitled “Death” in the 1990 book, “Wisdom of the Saints, an Anthology” has this quote: “Do you not know that only the thoughtless and insane consider the faithful departed to be dead?” Those were the words of St. John Eudes, the great French evangelist and preacher who was born at the dawn of the 17th century. He is voicing a basic principle about the death of those who are faithful Christians: you aren’t really “dead” after all; you simply move into or are transformed into a new form of life. In today’s first reading the prophet Isaiah reminds us that the Lord of hosts will provide a rich food for ALL peoples.
So, our entire earthly life has but one goal: to accept God’s free gift of eternal salvation and become fully human, a fullness according to God’s image. It amazes us when we consider the mystery of God’s unconditional love for us. We discover a love that wants us to share in His divine glory after we have completed our mission here on earth. Jesus is very reassuring today, when he invites all who labour and are overburdened to come to him, and he will give us rest – “us” referring to all who believe in him, trust in him, and are faithful to him in their behaviour- after all he tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden light.
So with Jesus on our side, at the right hand of the Father, interceding for all who believe in him — really, there is nothing whatsoever that we need to fear about that split second in time that we call “death.” It is simply a brief link to our goal, when we will be united once again with all the faithful departed who have gone before us!
Every living person is God’s creation, we’re unique and greatly loved by him. He never wants to lose any one of those that he’s made in his own likeness and for whom his own son died. So we need not live in fear; we must trust in Jesus’ promise, and live in peace and anticipation, for after all this banquet he has prepared is for ALL peoples- even those who haven’t had any chance of being Baptised into the life of a Christian.
We should also remember that Jesus Christ, himself, gives us himself as food every day in the Holy Eucharist. He strengthens us and helps us to live more in harmony with God. Jesus sanctified us (made us holy) by his sacrificial death so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life with him.
See also Articles #606 and #219 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church