Pastoral Thought

11-4-18

 

            As we remember our dead during November, praying for them, and thanking God for them and all they passed on to us, remembering too the struggles and difficulties they were part of, God offers us a peace which could be translated as “fullness of life.” For us as Christians, death is a passage, final in one sense (we will never see them again in this world) yet transitory (we will see them in the world to come).

            The ‘dying’ that matters takes place at Baptism and continues throughout our life. We die, with Jesus, to the self-centered part of our existence. Each stage of childhood, youth and adulthood challenges us to a further human maturity and more generous appreciation of the other (God and neighbor). This “dying” begins when we learn to say “Please”, “Thank you” and “I’m sorry”. It continues through the give-and-take of family life, and then life in community and the marketplace. But this dying really is a passage to resurrection—a life free to face our fears and challenges, confident in who we are, humble in accepting the truth about ourselves, willing to give because we have received, and able to say ‘no’ when we must.

            Our prayer for our dead is that they become complete before God, that they fulfill their baptismal call. We do not know what happens in death, for the loved one is no longer in time. But we confidently believe that God brings those who have said yes to Him, however they may have exhibited human weakness, to the perfect love of heaven. We aid them by our loving acts and prayers.

                        Father John Hynes