Today, November 2, is All Souls Day, when we pray for the repose of all those who have preceded us in the faith.
2 Machabees 12:36-46
But when they that were with Esdrin had fought long, and were weary, Judas called upon the Lord to be their helper, and leader of the battle: Then beginning in his own language, and singing hymns with a loud voice, he put Gorgias’ soldiers to flight. So Judas having gathered together his army, came into the city Odollam: and when the seventh day came, they purified themselves according to the custom, and kept the sabbath in the place. And the day following Judas came with his company, to take away the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen, in the sepulchres of their fathers. And they found under the coats of the slain some of the donaries of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbiddeth to the Jews: so that all plainly saw, that for this cause they were slain.
Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden. And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain. And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.
The Catholic Church has always encouraged prayers for the dead. The veil that separates us from those who have gone before us is more illusion than reality. We are united in Christ across the centuries, for all those who are baptized in Christ are given new life, an eternal life that begins here, in this temporal realm, and not only after we die and are raised to the kingdom.
The communion of saints, those who call Jesus Lord, whether they be in glory, in Purgatory, or are still working out our salvation with fear and trembling here on Earth, are united in one Body, and Christ is our head.
So, we ask the prayers for those who are already in glory, because the Scriptures say that those in the heavenly realm lift their prayers to God as incense (Rev 5:8; Rev 8:3-4), and for whom do they pray if not for us? We pray for those in Purgatory, like Judah did for the dead who had sinned by wearing idolatrous amulets into battle, confident that God will have mercy. And, we pray for each other, to strengthen each other on our journey toward embracing the fulfillment of the promises of Jesus.
George Hunt, Ruth Hunt, H. Guy Simmons, Billie Simmons, Matthew Czaplaski, Dr. Bob Hunt, Fr. David Findlay, Fr. J. Keith Zavelli, Fr. Bill Stelling, Ron Bredehoft, , Bill Ross, Margie Ross, Maria Tilly Meyers, Erin Corwin and baby, Nancy Feist and baby, Lourdes Garza, Michael, John Hunt, Teresa Hunt, Jim McNulty, Fr. David Knight
Eternal rest grant unto the, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.