Gospel Reflections

Feast of All Souls

John 6:37-40

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Victorine Mansanga

Published: November 02, 2016


Yesterday in joy we celebrated the solemnity of all the saints who lived their lives according to the Beatitudes. Today the Church proposes that we remember the faithful departed and pray for all those who have been dear to us. They have gone before us into God’s kingdom where they live in the peace and light of God.

When we are affected by the suffering caused by the death of someone close to us, we feel lost, abandoned and alone. We sink into our grief, fix our eyes on ourselves and remain blinded to the loving look of Jesus which brings peace and solace in our pain. I know that the memories of those close to us who have left us cause us sorrow, but rather than allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by sadness like those without hope, let us ask the mercy of God for all these dear ones. Jesus himself felt this sadness when he wept at the death of his friend, Lazarus. The tears of Jesus show us that he is not oblivious to our suffering, but that we are unaware of the signs of his presence.

We can only recognize God’s presence with the eyes of faith. Unfortunately, there are times when we can lose faith in the Master of life. I began to think about this reflection upon my return from the wake of a mother. She had lost her daughter who had left six children. This mother wept all through the night. None of our words of consolation could calm her. Watching her weep, I said to myself that if Jesus had been here, he would have had pity on this mother and restored her daughter to life as he did for Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. Today, only hope can enable us to believe in the resurrection of the dead and life in the world to come. Jesus agreed to suffer in order to identify with humans in their suffering. He lived this on the cross. Since Jesus passed through death to rejoin his father, death is inevitable for us, as well. It is the only way which leads to the Father and allows us to meet the one who conquered death. Here on earth, we are like travelers and strangers seeking our final destination.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus highlights the will of the Father which he has just accomplished. This will is that none will be lost whom the Father has given. Jesus reassures us that he will raise them up on the last day. Through these words, Jesus explains clearly the mission for which he was sent here to earth: to save everyone and to enable them to enter into new life.

Although death separates us from our loved ones, let us ask God to help us to live today in a spirit of faith and hope. As we reflect on the faithful departed, let us ask God’s mercy so that their souls may rest in peace in his kingdom and that the light of their lives will illumine and guide our own steps.

As we pray for the souls of those close to us, let us pray also for the victims of war and natural disasters whose deaths are known only to the master of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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