The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day) – Year B




The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 668

1st Reading – WIS 3:1-9

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.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
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. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
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. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
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. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

2nd Reading – ROM 5:5-11

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.
Indeed, 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 from the wrath.
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.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Or ROM 6:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.

Alleluia – MT 25:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, you who are blessed by my Father;
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

The Holy Souls in Purgatory

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

As we celebrate the Commemoration of All Souls, let’s reflect upon our Church teaching on Purgatory:

The Church Suffering: Purgatory is an often misunderstood doctrine of our Church. What is Purgatory? Is it the place we have to go to be punished for our sins? Is it God’s way of getting us back for the wrong we’ve done? Is it the result of God’s anger? None of these questions really answer the question of Purgatory. Purgatory is nothing other than the burning and purifying love of our God in our lives!

When someone dies in God’s grace they are most likely not 100% converted and perfect in every way. Even the greatest of saints most often would have some imperfection left in their lives. Purgatory is nothing other than that final purification of all remaining attachment to sin in our lives. By analogy, imagine that you had a cup of 100% pure water, pure H2O. This cup will represent Heaven. Now imagine that you want to add to that cup of water but all you have is water that is 99% pure. This will represent the holy person who dies with just some slight attachments to sin. If you add that water to your cup then the cup will now have at least some impurities in the water as it mixes together. The problem is that Heaven (the original cup of 100% H2O) cannot contain any impurities. Heaven, in this case, cannot have even the slightest attachment to sin in it. Therefore, if this new water (the 99% pure water) is to be added to the cup it must first be purified even of that last 1% of impurities (attachments to sin). This is ideally done while we are on Earth. This is the process of getting holy. But if we die with any attachment, then we simply say that the process of entering into the final and full vision of God in Heaven will purify us of any remaining attachment to sin. All may already be forgiven, but we may not have detached from those things forgiven. Purgatory is the process, after death, of burning out the last of our attachments so that we can enter Heaven 100% freed of everything to do with sin. If, for example, we still have a bad habit of being rude, or sarcastic, even those tendencies and habits must be purged.

How does this happen? We do not know. We only know it does. But we also know it’s the result of God’s infinite love that frees us of these attachments. Is it painful? Most likely. But it’s painful in the sense that letting go of any disordered attachment is painful. It’s hard to break a bad habit. It’s even painful in the process. But the end result of true freedom is worth any pain we may have experienced. So, yes, Purgatory is painful. But it’s a sort of sweet pain that we need and it produces the end result of a person 100% in union with God.

Now since we are talking about the Communion of Saints, we also want to make sure to understand that those going through this final purification are still in communion with God, with those members of the Church on Earth, and with those in Heaven. For example, we are called to pray for those in Purgatory. Our prayers are effective. God uses those prayers, which are acts of our love, as instruments of His grace of purification. He allows us and invites us to participate in their final purification by our prayers and sacrifices. This forges a bond of union with them. And no doubt the saints in Heaven especially offer prayers for those in this final purification as they await full communion with them in Heaven. It’s a glorious thought and a joy to see how God has orchestrated this entire process for the ultimate purpose of the holy communion to which we are called!

Lord, I pray for those souls going through their final purification in Purgatory. Please pour forth Your mercy upon them so that they may be freed of all attachment to sin and, thus, be prepared to see You face to face. Jesus, I trust in You.

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