Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed – Sister Gerry Bolzan, SNDdeN
November 2, 2021
John 6: 37 – 40
As a child, I remember something special about the mystery of the faithful departed. I do not think I had any profound insights into who they were or where they were…but I certainly wanted to be sure they got to heaven. I remember the visits to the Blessed Sacrament, prayers for the intentions of the Pope and the multiple entrances and exits of church for another round of prayers to be sure that each time a new soul would be rescued from purgatory. I also remember that this feast touched many people who were not necessarily regular church goers. On this day, they would do “something,” e.g., make a special offering or ask someone else to pray for their loved one.
But what about now? I think the solemnity of this day cannot be forgotten, but in a new way, reminding us of the chain of life that exists. as each person writes the names of special loved ones, or perhaps simply acquaintances, (or …as in these past two years, the many victims of Covid 19)… for the intention box or book, we recognize that we are all connected! We also realize that death can come upon us without much warning. What effect has all of this had on our prayer life…on our readiness for death or on our commitment to pray for the faithful departed?
John’s Gospel tells us: “I will certainly not reject anyone who comes to me… Now the will of him who sent me is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me, but that I should raise it up on the last day.” Could we have any more encouraging words that these? Let us join our desire and our prayers to those of Jesus, with confidence in His redeeming love as we pray for all those who have gone before us…and for our own journey towards eternity.
John 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.”
The Gospel of the Lord