Monday 2nd November 2015- All Souls
Reflection: Mark 15: 33-39, 16:1-6
WE DO NOT HAVE A LASTING ABODE HERE
We can be so caught up in life’s pursuits that we forget that we do not have eternity to live here on earth. Death is an inevitable reality for every living being that cannot be wished away. The remembrance of this ought not to fill us with fear; rather it should promote a sense of preparedness and accountability in us all. This preparedness can only be true and genuine if we daily strive to live in conformity with the loving demands of our blessed Lord. We however must never allow ourselves to be discouraged by our human weaknesses as our loving Lord has promised to always abide with us.
Beloved in Christ, as we daily work out our own salvation through the help of God’s grace, the Church specially calls on us this day to remember and pray for the souls in purgatory ( i.e. purgation). The Church holds that “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” (CCC 1030). In this state of purgation, we are encouraged to assist them in our prayers (2 Maccabees 12: 44-45). This doctrine of the Church is both based on the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacred Traditions. Scripture affirms that: (i) We are called to live a perfect life (Mt 5: 48) and that nothing unholy will enter the joys of heaven (Rev 21: 25-27; Isaiah 35:8) (ii) All unrighteousness is sin, but not all sin leads to death (1 Jn 5:17) (iii) Some sins can be forgiven after death (Mt 12: 31-32; 2 Maccabees 12: 44-45). St. Paul also makes assertion to a fire of purification for imperfect works done (1 Cor 3:13-15).
Dearest in Christ, the above scriptural references are some of the Church’s bases for her belief in the existence of a state called purgatory. If all souls either go straight to heaven or hell, Christ would not have indicated the possibilities of forgiveness after death (Matthew 12: 31-32). Purgatory is a temporary state of purification from the debt of venial and not mortal sins.
PRAYER: Please help me live in holiness oh Lord! And may the light of your mercy perpetually shine on the faithful departed. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 159 – What is purgatory?
Purgatory, often imagined as a place, is actually a condition. Someone who dies in God’s grace (and therefore at peace with God and men) but who still needs purification before he can see God face to face is in purgatory.
HIDE A TREASURE: “For if we were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead that they might be delivered from their sin.” 2 Maccabees 12:44-45 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: Wisdom 3:1-9; Ps 22: 1-6; Rom 5:5-11; Mk 15: 33-39, 16:1-6