All Souls Day
Wisdom 3: 1-9c
John 6: 37-40
What happens after death is a mystery. All that I can say about this mystery is from the Catholic Catechetical perspective. The general Christian understanding is that after death our bodies decay but our souls make their way towards God. In our Creed, we profess faith in the resurrection of our bodies and life everlasting. Many people think eternal life begins after death. Actually, eternal life begins in our baptism, passes through death and resides forever in God. Our language with regard to this matter is always in the realm of faith.
Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms the realities of Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. Due to the influence of the ‘Cancel Culture’ the existence of purgatory and hell in Christian circles is denied today. However, it would be more helpful to focus and believe in heaven than deny the other two.
The gospel today speaks of Jesus’ earnest desire to have all of us in heaven. It is very clear that God doesn’t want to lose even one soul. We believe in God who goes in search of the lost. The New Testament presents so many people choosing heaven(eternal life) in Christ through their repentance. One of the examples I can think of is the repentant thief hanging next to Jesus.
Today the Church on this All Souls Day gives us an opportunity to pray for all those who have gone before us, especially our dear ones that they may gain eternal life. In faith, the Church teaches us that we can help the souls to find eternal rest by our prayers, sacrifices and acts of mercy.
With the hope to unite with them one day, we pray:
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord.
May your perpetual light shine upon them.
Justin Durai Raj CP is a member of the Passionist community at St.Paul, Glen Osmond, SA.