All Souls Day (Fr. Vinner)
My Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Today we remember those who have passed from this life with faith, hope and trust in the promise of eternal life. Yesterday we remembered all the name saints but today reflect upon those who we know, those who have been part of our lives. Life is a gift from God and nothing that God gives or does is ever wasted. Whether our lives did not make it out of the womb or we live to be 110, we are important in God’s eyes. It’s not quantity and is not even quality; it’s about being – being a child of God.
Our lives are a reflection of God and his love. Those who have passed whom we remember today somehow reflected that love. As I often say and some of you may have heard this at the funeral of your loved one, they are never gone they still live you. Whether one month, six months, a year, 10 or even 50 years…they live on in our minds and hearts. They have touched us, formed us and changed us. But also know that we have touched them, formed them and changed them. Our love for them is what helps them through life and into eternal life. The bonds of humanity are not broken by death. We remember them and they still remember us while enjoying the fruits of eternal life. Their love for you helps you with this life as you journey to eternal life. Sadness, sorrow, grief may fill us today, but that is a reminder of their presence and love in our lives.
Our loved ones’ journeys are complete and their lives made whole. We are all born to be saints. However, it takes a lifetime to become a saint. How we use our lives is what helps us on that journey to sainthood. The struggles and trials of life often leave us wounded. Too often, we have excess baggage that clings to us or even nags us throughout our lives. After a hard life’s journey, we are often sweaty and dirty and need of a shower. God cleans us up as we pass from this life to the next. God created us good, or as said in Genesis very good, but he did not create us perfect. All those faults and imperfections that we carry are perfected by God. Our souls are purified and are made worthy to stand in the presence of God. All those sacrifices, sufferings and good works do not go unnoticed by God. God turns the good into perfect.
While we still mourn, we are confident that our loved ones are enjoying the peace, comfort and joy of eternal life. All souls day is a great reminder for each of us that we are given the gift of life. We use today and to help us tomorrow. Our life today is a taste God’s love, and it is a classroom to learn how to live as a child of God.
All souls day is for us. It is our day. Today touches us personally. Yes, it is a day of mixed emotions. It is our day to remember, to miss, but also to be joyful. We also reflect on our own existence. Each of us is a soul…a souls on its journey. We are still walking on that journey to become all that we were meant to be – a child of God enjoying eternal life with him.
May those who we remember today have perpetual light shine upon them, may their souls not only rest but also live in peace.
FR. S.Vinner HGN