for Sunday, November 2, 2008
"The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them"
How is it a sign of hope to know that the souls of the faithful departed are in the hands of God? Why is the death of a loved one seen as an affliction? We know that the beautiful leaves are falling off this time of year. The sap of the trees flows into the roots for protection. When the plants freeze and the leaves are gone, things look quite dead indeed. Green, the color of life, gives way to browns and tans for the next many months. Still, we know that life is very much there, waiting for better conditions. It will spring forth again, more beautiful than ever!
Today we commemorate the Faithful Departed, All Souls. Our Scriptures tell us that the "souls of the just are in the hands of God, and no torment will touch them." And indeed we are. We are to die to ourselves and live for Christ!
As human persons we donít like to lose the ones we love, and we certainly donít want to face our own death. Still, that is very necessary. It is so important to know that God is with us in our loss and grief, and the God is the one who will accept us into His kingdom.
How fortunate we are to know that "when the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain a dwelling place with Christ." Life changes, it doesnít end. As our loved ones helped, supported and prayed for us here on earth, they can do the same from their place in Heaven. When our loved ones are very ill, weíd like to do anything possible to help. Sometimes we just feel helpless. Our Church tells us too, that our prayers on their behalf are helpful to them, in their place on earth, and after death as well. So we can pray for them and know that our relationship with them is not broken at all. We can help them and they can help us.
So we commit ourselves this month of November, to pray for those who have gone before us. We can consider the fact that we too, will surely follow. Jesus died and rose again from the dead that we can have a life that does not end, healing and peace, forgiveness of our sins, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us follow Godís call every day of our lives. We received
these promises at our Baptism. They were strengthened on the day of our Confirmation. We carry
them with us each day as we strive to follow the path the Lord has set out for us.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: