Sunday, November 2, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - All Souls Day, Sunday, November 2, 2014 with Reflection

Solemnity of All Souls

1ST READING - Wisdom 3:1-9 (or 2 Maccabees 12:43-46)
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.
P S A L M - Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6 (or Psalm 25: 6, 7, 17-18, 20-21 or Psalm 27: 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 13-14)
R: Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. (R) He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.(R) You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (R) Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. (R)
2ND READING - Romans 5:5-11 (or Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 or Romans 6:3-9)
Brothers and sisters: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. 7Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him fromthe wrath. 10 Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 11:25-30 (or Matthew 25:31-46 or John 14:1-6)
25 At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. 26 Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”


The Church set apart this day for the departed whose souls are in purgatory. We believe that they are not yet worthy to enter God’s Kingdom. We believe that they, too, are heirs of the Kingdom. And so we pray for them, believing that in God’s time, after they have been purified of their sins, they will join the saints in heaven.

       This feast expresses primarily the mercy of God and His promise to make us His people. When Jesus, His Son, died on the cross, He died for all. It is interesting to note that when He died, we were still sinners. Jesus’ salvific act was for everyone for all time. God meant everyone to enter heaven and share in His glory.

       It is in this context that we celebrate All Souls Day. We believe that God is merciful and those who are not yet worthy of heaven still have hope. We call this process purgation or purification. It is God’s way of giving us an opportunity, even after this life, to attain justification.

       But this should not make us unmindful of the consciousness to be immediately worthy of heaven, to constantly battle sin and aim for holiness. As the Act of Contrition says, “I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell.” We should always express our sadness in being separated from God.

       Most of us probably went to visit the tombs of our departed loved ones yesterday. Today, let us continue to pray for those whose souls are still undergoing purgation and beg God to finally grant them entry to heaven. And as for ourselves, let us keep the fire and spirit of holiness always alive in us. We can begin our cleansing right here on earth. Let us approach the sacrament of reconciliation and make efforts not to commit the same sins again. Let us welcome necessary sacrifices as opportunities for cleansing. Let us try, as much as we can, not to pass by purgatory anymore, but go straight to whom and where we belong, our true home and origin — God! Fr. Benny Tuazon

REFLECTION QUESTION: What do you feel after you have sinned? Does it pain you to be separated from God through sin?

Lord God, thank You for Your unending mercy. Even after our death, You extend it to us.

All Souls, pray for us.

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