Homily – November 2, 2020

Commemoration of All Souls
Year A

Typically on All Souls Day, I’m afforded the opportunity to preach on the Four Last Things – death, judgment, heaven and hell. All of which are very real and we must not overlook the fact that we all face these realities when God decides to call us to Himself, to give an accounting of our lives and pronounce our eternal destination. Lets remember too – heaven is not a given, we have want it, strive for it… God is merciful, yet we must not delay our repentance, conversion and pursuit of virtue …

Yet, this is not what I am struck by today … The Church calls today a “Commemoration” – a remembering, a preserving of memories of those family, friends and loved ones who, having faith in the promise of eternal life – have died and await the Kingdom. We wonder, why is this so important, for us and for them? I think for 2 reasons:

First: It is important for us to pray for those who, due to the need to be purified, still await entrance into God’s Kingdom. Here, I am speaking of the souls in purgatory. They are not condemned but nevertheless, have yet to receive the eternal reward of their faithfulness to God in this life. Can you imagine the suffering of these souls? They can see heaven, they know they are destined for union with God – yet they cannot yet enter. There is no greater agony than this period of “limbo”.

Second: It is important for us to “commemorate”, to remember the faithful departed because it is a reminder to us that there is a game clock on our lives – and it is ticking. We too are destined for eternal life, we are meant for heaven – we will not live forever … but heaven is not a given. We have to strive for it. We have to want the eternal salvation of our souls …

Keeping the memory alive of the those who have died and await the Kingdom reminds us of our eternal destination, it keeps at the forefront of our minds the fact that we will one day face this reality … Where they have gone, we hope to follow after …

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.

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