Gospel Reflection for the 31st Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – November 2nd 2014
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
Why remember? They have passed on – our loved ones. We believe and hope they are now in a better place. They are further along the road to God and happier than they ever were in this life. We have loved them and prayed for them. Yet every year we take a special day for them. Whatever difference this may make to them we do not know; it certainly makes a difference to us.
It is good to remember our loved ones, and indeed even some difficult ones who have gone to God. It gets us in touch with the goodness of people, of what we are grateful for. It helps us forgive where forgiveness is still lacking. I believe that our loved ones need our forgiveness if they are to be fully and truly happy with God.
All Souls’ Day then is a day for us all. Our thanks for our loved ones can brighten our grief and we can truly know that we are blessed when we mourn. Our thanks and memories can teach us much about life, for every one we know has been and is a gift of God to us.
They also bring God to us – they are a link and we remember that especially this day, between heaven and earth, and the love they showed us and we shared with them on earth is the love they have brought to God. With each of them we are a little nearer God. In the morning of the day we ask their help and in the evening we give thanks for what they have given of themselves to us, for it is in their gift of love that they live on.
Donal Neary SJ