November 2, 2014
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED (ALL SOULS)
Wisdom 3:1-9 / Romans 5:5-11 or 6:3-9 / John 6:37-40; 64: 2-7 / Ps 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19 (4) / 1 Cor 1: 3-9 / Mk 13: 33- 37
First Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of the just are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch them. In the eyes of the unwise they appear to be dead. Their going is held as a disaster; it seems that they lose everything by departing from us, but they are in peace. Though seemingly they have been punished, immortality was the soul of their hope. After slight affliction will come great blessings, for God has tried them and found them worthy to be with him; after testing them as gold in the furnace, he has accepted them as a holocaust. At the time of his coming they will shine like sparks that run in the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king forever. Those who trust in him will penetrate the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love, for his grace and mercy are for his chosen ones.
Second Reading: Romans 5:5 -11
Brothers and sisters: And hope does not disappoint us because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God. Consider, moreover, the time that Christ died for us: when we were still sinners and unable to do anything. Few would accept to die for an upright person; although, for a very good person, perhaps someone would dare to die. But see how God manifested his love for us: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us and we have become just through his blood. With much more reason now he will save us from any condemnation. Once enemies, we have been reconciled with God through the death of his Son; with much more reason now we may be saved through his life. Not only that; we feel secure in God because of Christ Jesus, our Lord, through whom we have been reconciled.
Gospel: Mark 13: 33-37
Be alert and watch, for you don't know when the time will come. When a man goes abroad and leaves his home, he puts his servants in charge, giving to each one some responsibility; and he orders the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake, for you don't know when the Lord of the house will come, in the evening or at midnight, when the cock crows or before dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him catch you asleep. And what I say to you, I say to all: watch."
During the month of November, the last month in the Church's liturgical year, the Church remembers and prays for all the faithful departed. We, the living faithful, remember and pray for our departed family members, friends and all the faithful departed. We affirm the communion and fellowship of all believers, of those still on earth (the so-called Church Militant), of the dead who may still be undergoing purification in purgatory (the Church Suffering) and of those in glory in heaven (the Church Triumphant). We on earth can pray for the dead and those in purgatory and we ask for the help and prayers of those in glory. Those in purgatory benefit from our prayers and the help of those in heaven. Those in heaven can pray for and assist those on earth and the souls in purgatory.
The readings emphasize that, relying on our Lord's resurrection, ascension to heaven and sending of the Holy Spirit, we are a people of hope, strengthened by our faith and reliance in God's promises: for the dead, "immortality was the soul of their hope." As Jesus said, "This is the will of the Father, that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall live with eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day."
The first reading states Israel's growing belief that a person does not die when the body does but continues to live in God's peace: "those who trust in him will penetrate the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love, for his grace and mercy are for his chosen ones."
The second reading assures us of Christ's saving work: "We feel secure in God because of Christ Jesus, our Lord, through whom we have been reconciled." Paul reiterates and emphasizes the greatness and unusual character of God's love and mercy for us shown through the death of his Son Jesus: "Few would accept to die for an upright person. But see how God manifested his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us and we have become just through his blood. With much more reason now he will save us from any condemnation. Once enemies, we have been reconciled with God through the death of his Son; with much more reason now we may be saved through his life. Not only that. We feel secure in God because of Christ Jesus, our Lord, through whom we have been reconciled."
In the Gospel reading, Jesus reiterates the Father's eternal plan for each one of us to be with him forever "and the will of him who sent me is that I lose nothing of what he has given me, but instead that I raise it up on the last day."
Our celebrations of All Saints and of All the Faithful Departed are our firm affirmation of our hope in eternal life with God. In one of the prefaces for the dead, we declare: "In him the hope of blessed resurrection has dawned, that those saddened by the certainty of dying might be consoled by the promise of immortality to come. Indeed for your faithful people, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven."
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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