On the eve of every battle, an old Greek officer was in the habit of giving this advise to his men: “The secret of victory is in getting good ready. Battles are won the day before.”
The man who prepares and is attentive to the present moment is the man who wins, the man who succeeds. Preparation is vital not only for a profession, for a trade and for a career but also in receiving the life-giving sacraments and above all, on the day of our own death.
As the end of our earthly pilgrimage, death involves an inescapable judgment which leads to the definitive outcome of the person’s life. Jesus indicated this with His parable of the poor man Lazarus (Lk 16:22) and His promise to the good (repentant) thief: “This day you will be with me in paradise.”
The Church teaches that those who have died in the state of grace are received immediately into heaven, and see clearly God Himself, One and Three, as He is. While those who die in actual mortal sin go to hell immediately.
(Suggestion: ends with a story)