November 2, 2014: The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, All Souls Day
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
“We are one human family…We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world…” Themes from Catholic Social Teaching USCCB
“…In the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love (from writings of St John of the Cross).” (1022) Catechism of the Catholic Church
Suggested by USCCB
First Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9
Psalm: 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Second Reading: Romans 5:5-11 or Romans 6:3-9
Gospel: John 6:37-40
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“The Church, after celebrating the feast of All Saints, today prays for all who, in the purifying suffering of Purgatory, await the day they will join in heavenly glory. The celebration of the Mass, which represents the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, has always been the principal means by which the Church fulfills the great responsibility of charity toward the dead. Death cannot break the bonds of the Body of Christ.” (Introduction)
“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned…” (1030 and 1031)
From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to All Souls Day
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
“The Face of God, progressively revealed in the history of salvation, shines in its fullness in the Face of Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; truly distinct and truly one, because God is an infinite communion of love. God’s gratuitous love for humanity is revealed, before anything else, as love springing from the Father, from whom everything draws its source; as the free communication that the Son makes of this love, giving himself anew to the Father and giving himself to mankind; as the ever new fruitfulness of divine love that the Holy Spirit pours forth into the hearts of men (cf.Rom 5:5).
By his words and deeds, and fully and definitively by his death and resurrection, Jesus reveals to humanity that God is Father and that we are all called by grace to become his children in the Spirit (cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6), and therefore brothers and sisters among ourselves. It is for this reason that the Church firmly believes that “the key, the centre and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in her Lord and Master” (31)
“Personal and social life, as well as human action in the world, is always threatened by sin. Jesus Christ, however, “by suffering for us … not only gave us an example so that we might follow in His footsteps, but He also opened up a way. If we follow this path, life and death are made holy and acquire a new meaning”. Christ’s disciple adheres, in faith and through the sacraments, to Jesus’ Paschal Mystery, so that his old self, with its evil inclinations, is crucified with Christ. As a new creation he is then enabled by grace to “walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). This “holds true not for Christians alone but also for all people of good will in whose hearts grace is active invisibly. For since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the Paschal Mystery” (41)
Jesus assures us of His unconditional love, as He says all the Father gives Him will come to Him. He will not reject anyone and will raise them on the last day, for that is the will of the one who sent Him. Will we take Jesus at His word that He will not reject anyone? What separates you from believing this for yourself and others? Past transgressions, a faith anchored in unworthiness, a faith clinging to judgment, an unwillingness to believe? Release your grasp of these hindrances for a newness of life in Jesus’ loving embrace. The Lord’s goodness and love pursues us, for He desires for us to not wallow in obsession with sin, but the reality of forgiveness to define our relationship to Him and the Father. For absorbing ourselves focused on the demeaning consequences of sin, removes us from a hope that does not disappoint when the love of God is poured—not trickled or rationed—into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. A hope to guide us along the right path for the sake of the Lord’s name, not our own glorification. With that grace, we are sustained by courage to embrace the brokenness of the world, when a path of less resistance might be to house ourselves in structures and systems offering a false sense of security. With the hope of immortality, one is at peace, greatly blessed. Living with this trust in God’s eternal promise, one shall understand truth and abide with God in love flowing from His grace and mercy. So we shall not exclude or be fearful of people or limit diversity of outreach for justice with our families, parishes and Church, for then we, as the Lord’s disciples, deny belief in Jesus’ words that he will not reject anyone.
Individual Reflection: Wisdom 3:1-9
Read about the Justice Grant program at Pax Christi parish in Minnesota. How might this be implemented in your parish?
Family Reflection: John 6:37-40
Attend a Dia de Muertos celebration
Jesus thank you for the hope of everlasting life, for the faithful departed and our embrace of eternity. With that hope, nourish us to be faithful disciples of your inclusion and help us not to reject anyone seeking truth. As the Holy Spirit lavishly pours love into our hearts, help us to share the love graced with compassion and dignity. Let us dismiss narrowness as a path not of your making, but forge trails committed to the diversity of challenges in our world. In Your dear name Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born October 21, 2014 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.