02 Nov, Wednesday, The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed
Is 25:6ff. A classic vision of hope for the future, when God will restore his people to happiness and prosperity.
Mt 11:25ff. Jesus’ prayer of thanksgiving, profoundly aware of the Father’s gracious presence, and of being the loving Father’s instrument of our salvation.
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us”. Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day, reminds us of the reality of death and life after death. These days are a sad reminder that our bodies will one day give out. Somewhere, sometime, sooner or later, we will experience the startling reality of death. Then what???
Is it all over? Nothingness? Extinction. Absolute Silence? Darkness? No more love? No more joy? No more laughter?
Jesus says, no it is not all darkness and gloom. He walked through the doors of suffering and a violent death to come back and say there is light, there is love and laughter and rejoicing, there is a life beyond your dreams and imagination. Jesus offers hope for those who strike out when they come to bat in this life. What does this feast ask of us? Be grateful for what you have. Show your appreciation. How? See the love that is there. See what love the Father has bestowed on us!
Why Pray for the Dead? Based on John 6, 37-40: “In the synagogue of Capharnaüm, Jesus said: “All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. etc.” What is the Church asking of us today? You know the answer! The Church is asking us to pray in a special way for all the deceased, for all those whom we knew, but also for all those who died without the news of their disappearance ever being communicated to us. Because if we know only a minute part of this multitude of people who died since the creation of the world, God, on the other hand, knows them all, and each one in their individuality. God knows all things : he knows what we are doing now because he watches us, he listens to us, he waits for us to turn to him with the simplicity of a child who confides in his Father full of love and tenderness!
“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.” These are some of the most beautiful words of the Lord! His Father, our Father, does not want him to lose any of those whom he gave to him! And how could he lose them ? Does not the Father give his Son the Spirit of Love at the same time as he gives him those whom he calls to go towards the Redeemer of man? Could the Son lose the eternal Spirit who is one with him ? No, it is not possible! Jesus could not lose those who are given to him at the same time as the Holy Spirit! If therefore, during his or her life on earth, a man, or a woman, remains firmly united to the Holy Spirit by means of faith, hope, and charity, then how could it happen that Jesus would lose him or her ? No, it is not possible! If a Christian remains faithful to the Spirit who stays in him, then Jesus will raise him up at the last day!
First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”