Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)

(Wisdom 3:1-9; Romans 5:5-11; John 6:37-40)

At the funeral mass of a man who committed suicide someone made a curious testimony.  He said that the deceased lived a good life and was surely enjoying eternal rest.  For ample reason the Church no longer denies Christian burial in case of a suicide.  But it is presumptuous to claim that one who takes his or her life is with God.  The best that can be done is to hope that the person was not fully aware of what was being done or repented before life drained away.

Many of us may find ourselves in a similar condition someday.  Hopefully we will never attempt taking our own lives.  Nevertheless, our integrity has been compromised by the bad choices we have made.  We choose to hang onto to grudges rather than to forgive.  We have robbed people of their good name if not their purses without making amends.  We continually put ourselves first with hardly a thought for the suffering.  Surely these sins have led us away from Jesus.

As we pray for the souls of all today, we rightly assume that others one day will pray for us.  We pray that despite their sins they have come to know Jesus.  We pray that he will not reject them however great their sins may be.  At the same time we utter a prayer for ourselves as well: that we recognize the sins that we have committed, have made reparation as far as possible, and that God will be merciful to us as well as others.