Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
Remember you are dust and to dust you will return
By Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
March 6, 2014

Even for the atheist there is no denying, "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3: 19) when "the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it." (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

On a continuing basis death is the one truth many try to forget, our own death in particular, but the truth in Good Book which I have just recited can not be ignored. We may search high and low for an answer, Why there is death or accept as Saint Paul said, "Christ is life and death is gain?" (Galatians 2:20). Dismiss it if we wish as some tale or fable but examine at least its logic first spoken of in the Book of Genesis, in the story of the creation of man and the world when God told man, Don't eat of the tree of good and evil or we will suffer the consequences. We will know the difference between good and evil, intimately, in the choices we make, always.

It didn't have to be. The worst regret man could ever have – was risking life for a forbidden fruit. How often do we repeat this? Had we not had a savior in the person of Jesus Christ who took upon himself – the price of death to be paid for evil – our lives would be hopeless if Jesus had not risen from the dead as the Apostle Paul said, "if our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most pitiable of people" and more pitiable than anyone who would not ask God's forgiveness which he dispenses in the Sacrament of Reconciliation." (I Corinthians 15: 19). Adam and Eve choose poorly, and they didn't have the Sacrament of Reconciliation to turn to. They had to wait thousands of years in the hope of a promise which for us has been fulfilled. (Genesis 3: 15).

© Fr. Tom Bartolomeo


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Fr. Tom Bartolomeo

I am the founder and director of the Families For Families Retreat House, a refuge for anyone who wants to rethink his or her life in a quiet non-demanding environment in an historic house c.1709 when life was less complicated. I am also and primarily a Catholic priest having been a college and university teacher, business-owner and executive among other things. I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English literature from Saint John's University, Jamaica, New York and completed post-graduate studies at Kansas State University. Contact me at


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