Homily: All Souls Day

Readings of the Day

Have you ever looked through a photo album with a relative? It’s a special experience: it’s not just reminiscing. Looking at the old picture brings back memories, things that happened long ago. Grandma might slip a bit and give a clue what she really thought of Aunt Mabel or Uncle Hank. It’s even fun to see our parents and other relatives when they were children, because it can be hard for us to think of them as being our age once. It can also mean we can reach out and touch people who’re gone, as though they’re still here with us. In some ways, they still are.

Walking the halls of memory like this can be sacred. We remember the blessings they gave us that are still here, and can thank God for them.

Christ gives us an important message today. He reminds us that everything, everyone who belongs to him will come to the Father, and it’s Jesus who brings us to the Father. We remember that as Paul says, “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.” As long as we hold on to Jesus, the question isn’t in doubt: we belong to God, always, and nothing can get in the way of that. We remember that the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and are at peace.

Jesus is the one who brings us together. He brings us together today to share His Body and Blood, just as he has brought people for almost 2000 years. The boundary of life and death doesn’t matter to Christ: we are always together in Him, even if we’re apart from each other on this earth, even if some of us have crossed the boundary into the next life. For 2000 years, Christians have known the prayers of our family and friends on the other side have helped us, and our prayers can help them.

We walk the sacred halls of memory for a reason. We walk them to reminds ourselves of where we’ve come from, no matter how long our journey has come so far, and the journeys of our parents, grandparents and relatives have been part of that journey. We embrace the Hope our ancestors had, which is there for us today. We remember that we are together always in Christ, even though we can’t see or touch each other. We remember we all have the same final destination: to be together in Christ forever. Nothing could be better than this.

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