This past week we celebrated All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Today, we honor those whose funeral Masses were celebrated at our parish during the past year with our Memorial Masses for the Deceased. It is a time of year when we are reminded of our Catholic belief in the “Communion of Saints,” which we profess each time we say the creed at Mass.
The church year contains many feast days in which we honor our most famous saints; names we know like St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Teresa of Avila whose feast days were celebrated last month. All Saints’ Day also celebrates saints whose feast days are not on our church calendar, who never made the headlines, but whose lives touched our hearts, made a difference in our lives, and contributed to us becoming the people we are today. We have all known “saints” personally who guided us and inspired us to try to live the Gospel. We are still linked with them through the Body of Christ, and our lives are colored by the virtues they helped instill in us.
As we honor those who have passed on All Souls’ Day, the “Communion of Saints” reminds us that those who have died are still alive, their lives being changed not ended, and linked to us in an important loving relationship with one another. Sr. Elizabeth Johnson says, “Hoping against hope, we affirm that they [our loved ones who have died] have fallen not into nothingness, but into the embrace of the living God. And that is where we can find them again; when we open our hearts to the silent calmness of God’s own life in which we dwell, not by selfishly calling them back to where we are, but by descending into the depth of our own hearts where God also abides.”
Today, as the names of the deceased are called at Mass, remember what qualities he/she had; how he/she lifted my spirits; how he/she made me want to be a better person. As pilgrims still on earth, it is our task to live out the life of Christ with the help of the intersession with our Lord of those who have died and are experiencing the divine presence. May we, the Body of Christ here on Earth, continue the work to bring about the Kingdom by learning to live in communion with one another and all of God’s creation.
All you holy men and women, pray for us!
~ Sherry Watts, K-6 Coordinator