Reflections on the Readings
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
November 2, 2014 - Year A
The Mystery of Faith
But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. (Romans 6:8-9)
Jesus loves us and wants us to be with him forever. He came all the way from heaven to tell us that God is love and then proved it by dying for us. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. In his death on the cross Christ reconciled us to God justifying us by his Blood.
We receive Christ's love through baptism. Paul asks, "Are you aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized in his death?" What does that mean? In the waters of our baptism we left behind the 'old self' and were raised as a new creation in Christ. In baptism we were buried with Christ. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too have newness of life in Christ and not just for now, but forever!
The Holy Spirit fills our hearts with the love of God and with a hope that is immortal. We embrace a future that is filled with the friendship of God. Therefore our hope is not a speculation about things we are not really sure about. For the Friend of sinners has set us free from the deception of sin and the power and fear of death.
Dear friend, we have been saved, we are being saved, and we shall be saved. Christian hope purifies us and prepares us for that day when Christ shall appear. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:1:3)
Beloved, we are God's children now and we will still be his children when he calls us home. Jesus explained he was going away to prepare a place for us. Like a bridegroom building a home for his bride where they will live together, Christ our bridegroom is preparing a place for you and me. And one day soon Christ shall present us to the Father in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind. (Ephesians 5:27)
This hope, this faith, is the treasure of the Church. Let no one rob you of this treasure entrusted to us his children. Let us always proclaim with joyful expectation the mystery of our faith—"In dying, Christ destroyed our death; in rising, Christ restored our life; Lord Jesus come in glory! Until that day we stand in the presence of our Redeemer with all the faithful departed, keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Amen.
Dennis Hankins, a Catholic Evangelist, is a parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, of the Diocese of Knoxville, TN. Prior to uniting with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil 2006, Dennis served as a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church. E-mail Dennis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @dshankins or visit him at: www.dennishankins.com