"The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them." (Wisdom 3:1)
Reflections on the readings for the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (November 2, 2021): WIS 3:1-9; PS 23:1-3,3-4,5,6; ROM 5:5-11; JN 6:37-40
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
NHope does not disappoint. We have the chance today and tomorrow and as many days as God gives us to praise and serve Him...
On this feast day we are called to remember those who have died but who have not yet entered the presence of God. The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, better known as All Souls Day, offers us the opportunity to honor and help these souls with our prayer, penance, and charitable acts. From the early years of the Church, it has been accepted that those of us still on earth can aid those in purgatory in this way. In the 4th century, St. John Chrysostom asked, “Why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.”
In remembering and praying for those who have gone before us, we are also reminded of our own mortality. So often we avoid contemplating our death and what lies beyond. But we can find immense comfort in our own care for the departed as well as examining ourselves and how we are living out our faith in God and His Son, our Redeemer. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul tells us that “Hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. … God proves His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by His Blood, will we be saved through Him from the wrath” (Romans 5:5,8-9). Hope does not disappoint. We have the chance today and tomorrow and as many days as God gives us to praise and serve Him. To care for our loved ones and all our neighbors, especially those in need. What every human being knows is that one day will be our last on earth. And then there is eternity.
Suggested missionary action: Let us make a habit of praying for the souls in Purgatory. We can offer this traditional prayer daily, or even more often: Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.