Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 2, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
A reflection on today's Scripture:
We are blessed that All Souls' Day, November 2, falls on a Sunday this year. When it comes on a weekday, it often "falls through the cracks" and many Catholics often fail to celebrate this most-consoling of feast days.
As the years go on after the death of a loved one, and grief is now lessened, we tend to forget that those who have died are still "real," still bound to us in love. On our part, this feast allows us to renew our love and affection for them, and to strengthen our belief that we will one day see and enjoy their love. And they will enjoy our love.
The First Reading from the Book of Wisdom strongly affirms that "the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them." For those not yet accepting of their deaths, and not yet ready to see Him face to face, they pass through a time of God's merciful purification. Even there, they are in peace, knowing they will soon be in the full joy of heaven. Unlike those who are without faith, we must not look on their death as "total destruction," or that our loved ones are "lost." The loss is on our part.
The Second Reading from Romans rejects the idea of death as abruptly ending life. Rather, the purpose of our Baptism was to destroy the power of death. The plunging into water signified our death to sin and corruption. Baptism is the door to life, and a pledge that we will one day experience our own resurrection.
Most consoling of all is today's Gospel. In effect, Jesus tells us that each one of us has been given to Him by His Father. He purchased us by shedding His blood, and He will never let us go. Jesus emphatically says that it's the Father's Will that He not lose anyone, and that our faith in Him is an insurance policy for eternal life. There can be no room for doubt here.
All Souls' Day is a day to remember, to renew our bond of love with our deceased loved ones, and to renew our habit of praying for all who have died. In so doing, we can be sure that they will intercede for us before the throne of God's mercy. What powerful friends we have in our beloved dead! Since they are "the faithful departed," we should be the faithful who remain.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
Today is All Souls Day, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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