Father Rick’s Gospel Reflection for the Feast of All the Faithful Departed,
November 2, 2023, John 6:37-40
Pray for the Faithful Departed
It is a long-standing tradition to pray for a happy death. That might sound strange to someone who has no faith. What can be happy about death? Death is a doorway to heaven for a Catholic who receives the Last Blessing of the Church. When I am called to a dying bedside, I bring my Holy Oils and Holy Communion.
As I walk into the home, the peace of Jesus greets me in the family members and the dying soul. Our Lord’s Presence is so imminent. Sorrow for all sin welcomes the Lord’s embrace in heaven when this person receives the Last Anointing.
However, should any stain of sin remain on a person’s soul when they die, God gives us the grace to become worthy of Him in heaven. All who die in God’s grace and friendship but are still imperfectly purified are assured of their eternal salvation. Still, after death, they undergo purification to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (Catechism, 1030)
My brothers and sisters, we offer the Holy Mass for our deceased brothers and sisters. We offer prayers and sacrifices for their freedom to be with God in the joy of heaven. Let us pause now and surrender to the Lord, family, friends, and parishioners we know so they may be with Jesus for all eternity. And finally, we remember anyone in purgatory who has no one to pray for them.
Peace be with you, everyone.
IGNITE THE FIRE.
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.