Commemoration of all the faithful departed (All souls day)

Theme: The church suffering

Yesterday the church celebrated the solemnity of all saints, the church triumphant, and today we are commemorating the faithful departed, that is the church suffering. Today’s liturgy is an opportunity for the church militant, that is those of us who are still alive to pray for those who have died and are undergoing the process of purification in purgatory; for them to behold the beatific vision. This is an opportunity for us to pray for our loved dear ones and all those in purgatory, that the Lord will show them mercy and grant them eternal rest in his kingdom. This is when they need us the most, because they can no longer help themselves, and it is only the prayers of the living that can help them. This is a long practice in the church that is informed by our doctrine on purgatory. This is an opportunity for us to remember our loved ones who have died in our prayers and also avail of ourselves the plenary indulgence that is granted to the dead; from the 1st to 8th of November. What we need to do is to visit a cemetery and pray for the dead, going for confession and receiving the holy Eucharist. If it is not possible to get to a cemetery, one can also go to the church and pray for the dead, go for confession and also receive the holy Eucharist; and also pray for the pope’s intention. The prayer we say for them during this period is very important and powerful, so let us endeavour to do it.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, as we pray for them, it is also an opportunity for us to reflect about our personal lives. Today we are praying for them, and some day it will be people praying for us too. This is the time we have to work hard and take the invitation of Christ seriously that invites us to practice the Beatitudes in our daily life, so that whenever it is our turn to answer Gods call, we will not be found wanting. Let us resolve today to do something to better our lifestyle and relationship with God.

Eternal rest grant onto the souls in purgatory O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, may their souls rest in peace. Amen. Peace be with you.

Homily for All Souls, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp