Scripture: 1st Reading: Job19,1,23-27; Resp. Psalm: Ps23,1-6; 2nd Reading: Rom5,5-11; Gosp. Accl.: Mt11,25; Gospel: Mt5,1-12
Death is not the end. Death is the beginning, the entrance into another life. Death is therefore a transition, from corruption to incorruptibility, from decay to wholeness, limitedness to eternity of God. Death is therefore a necessary "evil", for if we do not die, in the body, we remain separated from the source of our being. Death leads to that final union that the soul craves for, fulfills that longing of the heart to enjoy blessedness, joy, contentment, happiness in the presence of the One who is the object of the soul's desire.
Death is therefore necessary. The pain of separation is what we have not been able to overcome. That pain however is only felt among the mortals who are still standing. For the good soul that death releases, it is joy and liberation and a whole new sense of wholeness. For that good soul, death is a welcome.
The book of Job describes it today: the Redeemer lives forever. Because He lives, He will never allow His beloved to be separated from Him in death. The skin may be destroyed in death, yet the Redeemer will raise a new flesh, a glorified flesh, with which the believer will see God. God will so guide the steps of His beloved that since they were united with Him in life, they would also be in death.
All these are possible because One Person paid the supreme price. It was while we were still helpless that He achieved this, that is, that He died for the ungodly. While we were still steeped in sin and were to all intents and purpose lost, Christ died for us. Having died for us, we are now justified by His blood. The death of the Son reconciled us to the Father and broke the enmity that sin imposed upon our relationship with Him.
It is therefore important for each of us to live our lives to the fullest. It is important for us to live the lives of the beatitudes. It is important to seek the face of God while He may be found, to find Him while He is still near. We pray today for the souls of all the Faithful Departed, that is, of every baptized but departed souls. We pray for them especially the many of them who have no one to pray for them.
We pray for the souls of the faithful departed also especially those whose fate are unknown to us. We implore God's mercy for them and release from the bondage of that state where they necessarily have to do purification for the sins they did not do adequate remission for while here on earth since nothing unclean can be admitted to the presence of God. We pray for God's mercy to quicken the admittance of these souls into His presence.
Today, the church militant, that is, the church still on the journey of faith, those of us who are still privileged to be alive, pray for the church suffering, that is, the souls of countless believers whose final fate is unclear. We call on the church triumphant, the Saints whose memory we commemorated yesterday, to intercede for them before the throne of God's mercy.
This commemoration also has a lesson to teach us. We must strive everyday to examine our consciences, be sincerely sorry for our sins, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the hands of an ordained priest. We should do that regularly and constantly since we do not know the date and the hour of the coming of the Son of man. When we strive to keep sin out of the garden of our souls, the Master at the sound of the trumpet, will find us ready to enter the wedding banquet with Him.
Let us therefore pray for the eternal repose of the dead today. Let us remember that some people will also do this for us when we die. Let us visit cemeteries where they are buried and there offer prayers for their repose. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Nay they rest in peace. Amen. May the souls of all the Faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Let us pray: "Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord, and, as our faith in your Son, raised from the dead, is deepened, so may our hope of resurrection for your departed servants also find new strength." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.