Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them

“Have pity on the souls in purgatory, especially the most abandoned.” - Our Lady of Fatima (1917)

(Jn 6:37-40) Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Every year on the 2nd of Novembers we commemorate “All the Faithful Departed.” It is a reminder for us to reflect again on those no longer with us, so we can ask them to remember and intercede for us. After all, we believe that even though they left their worn out bodies here on earth their souls are alive with and in Christ.

Let me explain. For example when we gather around the dining room table we eat and drink dinner which in turn is absorbed into cells nourishing our muscles, organs and blood. The food becomes part of our bodies. Contrariwise, in the Mass we gather around the table of the altar. We receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ by which we are spiritually absorbed little by little into Christ’s glorified body. Each time we participate in the Eucharist and receive the Body and Blood of Christ we become more intimately connected with his divine life. Our souls have no measureable dimensions, so there is no limit to how many souls can be sharing in and with the glorified body of Christ.

We might tend to forget some of our departed loved ones months and years after their Mass of Resurrection. So it makes sense that at least one day of the year, we forget our problems and forego some of our activities to remind ourselves that they haven’t forgotten us. By remembering them and praying for them today we remind ourselves that we have great intercessors with Christ remembering and interceding for us. On “All Souls Day” we acknowledge and profess our faith in the one “Body of Christ”. It is awesome and comforting to realize that both the living and deceased are united in and with our Lord.

A second advantage is that, by remembering the deceased, we also pray for them. We do it from the bottom of our heart, through our intimacy with God, and each time we pray together in the Eucharist: in front of the mystery of death and life, we are not alone but we share it as members of Christ's Body.

Hence, let us remember what St. Francis gratefully proclaimed: «Praise to You, O Lord our God, for our Sister Death».

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