This week we have a break from out usual readings since it is the solemnity of All Souls. This day is kind of like All Saints’ Day but it focuses on those who have not made it to heaven yet, also known as the faithful departed. Today there may be a recitation of all those who have died in the past year in the parish. Today there are a selection of reading which can be chosen from I’ve decided to do the first choice since we are in the A year in the cycle of readings.
We begin in the book of Wisdom, a book of the apocrypha as it is not in regular bibles (KJV) or the Jewish scriptures. In the reading we hear that the Souls of the just are in the hands of God, the souls are at peace and full of hope for God found them worthy of him. This means that we should not be obsessing about death as we have hope for immortality. The world seems to be a place that has embraced the cultural of death and we need to remember there is always hope for life.
As we turn to the second reading we hear from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in the reading Paul is up front with us about what will happen he tells us a secret we will not fall asleep (die) but we will be changed in an instant. Paul continues saying that the dead will be raised incorruptible and the living must clothe themselves in incorruptibility. It reminds me of John Donne’s Death Be Not Proud as we hear that Death will be no more.
Finally we reach the Gospel we hear from John that Jesus says “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, so I will not reject anyone who comes to me.” This reading more or less is Jesus saying that we are all welcome to join in the everlasting joy of heaven. I hope that during this week we can take some time and pray for the souls in purgatory that they will one day be able to enter the heavenly kingdom that we have all been promised. We can help the souls get into heaven by looking at the lives of the saints as examples and hope that there will be people to pray for us once we die.