Today we commemorate, we remember together all those who have died all those who have passed from this life to the next.
Today reminds us of a very important fact Everything is not what it appears.
Anyone who has read the Gospel knows that Jesus frequently turned the whole world upside down When he said things like
Loss is really gain Poor is really rich Weak is really strong The Humble are exalted The Last are really first And especially When He teaches Death is really life
For many, Especially those without the consolation of faith death is a scary thing.
For some it is even terrifying. It appears so dreadful, without hope
To some death is the final, absolute, annihilation It is darkness....
It is easy to understand why people feel that way and why death is so scary.
A body without a soul is only a memory of what it was
A body without a soul seems so unnatural, foreign to our experience
Today we commemorate, we remind ourselves that appearances can be wrong and that Death is not all that it seems
Our faith teaches us that By his death Jesus paid the price of our sins By his rising from the dead he destroyed death and restored life
Our faith teaches us that… Death is not an end but rather a beginning Death is not something dreadful or silent Death is not the final end
Death is really just a doorway. The only doorway in fact that can lead us to everlasting life with God Why do we remember? Why do we have a day like today set aside to remember those who have died and mediate on death?
Why do we pray for the dead?
Some would ask what difference does it make To them praying for the dead makes no sense …. God’s judgement is final If you are saved your are saved If you are damned you are damned That’s it… ran out of time too bad… You lose
From the very beginning of the Church we have believed that some people after having chosen Christ may not quite ready for heaven
There seems to be many who are too good to go to hell and not good enough to go to heaven
When people like this die some they still bear the burden of selfishness or pride or whatever.
Catholics and some other Christians believe that in God’s mercy People in this situation are not given a second chance Remember they have already chosen Christ
But rather they are provided a period of purification a chance to be made whole more time to let go of their sins, their selfishness and their brokenness
We call this moment this process purgatory
The church says very little more about it. We don’t know how long it lasts We don’t know where or how it happens
Simply put Purgatory permits a soul still burdened by sin to come home
We also believe that the prayers of the Saints and The prayers of the church help in this process of purification
From the time of the apostles the Church has prayed for the dead In the early Christian cemeteries the graves were often marked with requests for prayer.
So today on this day of All souls We commemorate we remember those who have gone before us We think of them We sacrifice for them. We fast for them and We offer up our prayers for them That their purgatory may be swift and That they may be with God forever…
That is the first purpose the first reason for this day It reminds us of those who have preceded us home It reminds us to pray for the dead
The second purpose of this day… Is to commemorate, to remember together that we too shall pass that way
All of us will one day face death All of us will one day walk through that door
So often we get so caught up in the challenges of life that we forget this incredibly important fact Where they stand we to shall be
And it is important to remember That how we live and the choices we make matter.
We conform ourselves to the image of Christ with every good choice we make We deform ourselves, we wound ourselves with every bad choice we make.
It is so important to remember that We know neither the time or the hour
When will our time come When will we face the death? When will we have to walk through that door Today Tomorrow In 20 years In 70 years Who knows
All souls day reminds us that we need to be ready Where would we stand if today were the day we were called to face judgment
Where would we stand if the angel of death knocked on our door right now ? Where would we stand ? Would we be ready?
Let us commemorate Let us remember together those who have gone before us Marked with the sign of faith
Let us keep them close in prayer
Let never forget That death awaits us all… Will we be ready… Amen