Homily for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) (B) (2nd November, 2018) on the Commemoration
Is 25:6-9;
Ps 26:1.4.7-9.13-14 (R. v.1 or v.13);
Rom 5:5-11;
Mk 15:33-39; 16:1-6.
Topic: Why pray for the dead?
In our homily for the Solemnity of All Saints we celebrated yesterday, we outlined the three parts (states) of the church, namely the Church Triumphants, the Church Militants, and the Church Sufferings. As a family, these three states of the church relate and also help each other.
We rejoiced and glorified God in the Solemnity of All Saints for the Church Triumphants (those already in heaven). And today, we are at the door of God’s mercy pleading for the eternal repose of our numerous brothers and sisters who although have left this world but are not as perfect as they ought to (cf. Matt 5:48). These Holy Souls are according to the Catholic belief in Purgatory. To better understand the Catholic belief in Purgatory, click on this link: http://www.thepulpitonline.com/2017/11/belief-in-purgatory-and-praying-for.html
Saint James rightly advised us to pray for one another, cf. Jas 5:16. In line with this text, yesterday while glorifying God we also ask for the intercession of all the saints. And today, as we commemorate all the faithful departed, we pray to God for their happy repose. Although we normally say or hear that repentance is not possible in the grace yet God listens to such supplications. We read from the letter of Saint John,
If you see your brother or sister committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God will give life to such a one – to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal (1Jn 5:16-17).
Some of the souls in Purgatory are there because they died in a state of sin that is not mortal which only requires our prayers and sacrifices to be forgiven. And there are many of our brothers and sisters who died in this state; although they are not dammed because they did not die in the state of mortal sin yet they do not see God immediately because nothing unclean shall enter the kingdom of heaven (Rev 21:27). This is just part of the reason we pray for those who have died. Even if you do not believe in the word Purgatory, because may be the word is not found in the bible I urge you to pray for the dead because nothing in the bible contradicts praying for the dead. No one is too sure the state in which many including your beloved ones died.
Bible Readings: Dan 12:1-13; 1Jn 5:16-17.
Silent Prayer: Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise (Is 26:19).
Let us pray: May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace – Amen.
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