“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.” (Romans 5:5)
Yesterday was All Saints day and as a follow-up, today, we remember all who once lived on earth but are no more. Today we pray for all souls especially those who never had the chance of having anyone pray for them. We pray not only for departed Christians but even Muslims, Buddhists, Traditional Worshippers and so on. No single soul is left out of our prayers today.
Today we remember victims of natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, typhoon, and so on. We also remember millions of people who have died as a result of man’s inhumanity to man; children whose lives were cut short by abortion, euthanasia, sales of expired drugs, holocausts, war and so on. We pray for them because we have Faith; we know that God our Redeemer lives and with God, all things are possible.
Our Prayers are beneficial to them in reducing the time they spend in purgatory and also beneficial to us in that by praying for the dead we too are reminded that someday we shall depart from this earth whether we like it or not.
In the end, what we actually celebrate today is HOPE. Hope that as we pray for the dead, they will enter heaven, hope that if they are in heaven, they will pray for us. Hope that one day, when we too depart, there would be people around here praying for us.
St. Paul tells us in our second reading that Hope does not disappoint us. “While we were helpless, Christ came to die for us…” it follows that with our prayers, the helpless souls who have died, even though they did not know God will also benefit from Christ’s intervention. This is why we pray for the dead.
As we pray for the dead, even the mere mention of their names evokes memories of their life. That is why today happens to be very sober. A lot of things they said and did which we have forgotten will now be remembered. Let those good things we remember about their lives become beautiful homilies for us today.
It is quite amazing that our Gospel passage is exactly the same as yesterday. Do I see this coincidence as God sending me a message? How often do I live by the beatitudes?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to make it to heaven and my very life be an inspiration to others after me. Amen.
Bible Study: Job 19:1.23-27, Psalm 23, Romans 5:5-11 and Matthew 5:1-12).