The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
Lectionary: 668 (NAB Translation)
This Sunday we celebrate the commemoration of All Souls insteadof All Souls Day.Today is one of those celebrations that is very distinctly Catholic, and you will see that from the theme of praying for those that have died and also in the selected readings. The lectionary allows any readings that are allowed for a funeral mass. This mass is also one of the few that is highly customizable depending on the situation of where and who is celebrating the mass. There is seven options for the first readings, three for the psalm, and twelve for the second reading. You will also notice that we will not sing the Gloria.
This week’s first readings come from the book of Wisdom. This is one of those books that other Christian denominations often take out of the Canon of Scripture. The writer of the book of wisdom, is focusing on the hope of Heaven and also the reality of death. Even though death is inevitable for all of us, there is something incredibly scary for all of us, and part of the reason we fight to live.
There is an analogy of gold in the furnace. God full allows us into heaven after we have been purified by through the trials of our lives or through the purgation process after our death and before our entrance. While neither process may sound exciting or enticing, the rewards of eternal life are promised to be worth it.
- (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
This reflection is on the first option from Romans chapter 5. It is a reading full of hope and a reminder of the power of the wood of the cross. Even though we were sinners and He knew our sin, His love was unyielding and offered His life for the opportunity to enter into the eternal Kingdom with Him. This reading reminds us that there is no sin too great to be forgiven or a sinner too bad to be forgiven by the Divine Mercy of God.
This week’s Gospel from St John also reminds us of the central focus of Jesus’ mission on earth – to bring us to the Father. The Divine will of the Father is to unite us to His infinite love with all of our sins forgiven by the very death of His Son.
On this day, we put all of our faith into this promise, knowing that we worship a God that is good Father and keeps promises. We pray for our loved ones that have died recently and long ago. We place them in our offering for the mass. We pray that if their process in purgatory is still going, that they may be relieved by finally uniting with the Lord they have been aching for so long. Jesus, we trust in You.
A Reflection Question from Bishop Vásquez
- Jesus says in today’s Gospel that he “will not reject anyone who comes to me” and we will be raised on the last day. Do you pray regularly for the souls in purgatory? Pray for them today.