Jesus said to the crowds: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”
The Lord loves me just the way I am. Today, I am reminded that He loves me even more than that.
We are a fallen creature, a very superficial kind of being of the headlines type. We are magnetic towards negative gossip, sensationalism and depressing news. We are folks of a somewhat depressing nature. What makes the news today is what pumps most of our hearts. Yes, we are good but we are in dire need of purification.
Billions of people have lived on the earth. Our history books include a tiny fraction of them. God includes all of them. He knows all of them. If our Heavenly Father has the time and ability to count the hair on our head, then He can make count all the lives that were lived.
Billions of people have been baptized. Only a fraction of them have been declared saints. But for every known saint, we know there are millions that are unknown. For this reason, every November 1st is a day of celebration, a day for us to celebrate the lives of all the saints in heaven.
But like every celebration, once it is over, the very next day we must get back to work. Today, we must pray. We must pray for all the faithful departed who, with great anticipation, eagerly wait to see the face of the Lord. We must do only what we can do. We must care for them and fight for them, and that is a lot.
Often I think of All Souls Day as a long day in the hospital; that is, a day when family members must make tough decisions and tough sacrifices for their incapacitated brothers and sisters; a day in which their prayers, sacrifices and presence can actually save the lives of their brothers and sisters. For although their loved ones may be physically present, they are far from them; though they are breathing, they are not quite living.
In a similar way, the souls of the faithfully departed are in an incapacitated state. Though they are no longer physically among us, they are not far from us. Though they are no longer breathing, they are still living. And just like family members can make all the difference in the world for their sick and injured loved ones, so too we make all the difference in the world for our faithfully departed brothers and sisters.
Let us pray for those who can no longer pray for themselves. Let us offer sacrifices for those who can no longer offer an acceptable sacrifice for themselves. Let us love those who can no longer love others. This is not something weird. This is natural. We do it with our dead. We do it with our heroes. We do it for our loved ones. The Lord did not simply die for the living. He died for the dead as well.
This is how Christ showed His love. This is how we can show our love. We are a family forever. Heaven may dissolve marriages on earth but only because heaven unites us as brothers and sisters in the one love that is of God our Father and our brother Jesus Christ.
May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.