Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
November 2nd, 2010

Howie Kalb, S.J.

Jesuit Community
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Every year on the 2nd of Novembers we commemorate “All the Faithful Departed.”  (All Souls Day)  The Liturgy provides for priests who may wish to offer three Masses that day.  Many people think that this is an exception made for us so that we might pray for all of our deceased relative and friends since we have so many.  And that’s certainly true.  But it’s also a reminder for us to reflect again on those no longer with us, so we can ask them to remember and intercede for us.  After all, we believe that even though they left their worn out bodies here on earth their souls are alive with and in Christ.

Let me explain.  For example when we gather around the dining room table we eat and drink dinner which in turn is absorbed into cells nourishing our muscles, organs and blood.  The food becomes part of our bodies.  Contrariwise, in the Mass we gather around the table of the altar.  We receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ by which we are spiritually absorbed little by little into Christ’s glorified body.  Each time we participate in the Eucharist and receive the Body and Blood of Christ we become more intimately connected with his divine life.  Our souls have no measureable dimensions, so there is no limit to how many souls can be sharing in and with the glorified body of Christ.

On that day when Jesus receives our human life back through death we will then be totally absorbed living with and in Jesus.  Fortunately, at this moment our departed loved ones are sharing completely in his divine life.  Sharing such an existence makes them capable of having unlimited influence in obtaining God’s blessings for whatever is best for us.  So All Souls Day ends up being a win-win occasion for both the living and deceased.

We might tend to forget some of our departed loved ones months and years after their Mass of Resurrection.  So it makes sense that at least one day of the year, we forget our problems and forego some of our activities to remind ourselves that they haven’t forgotten us.  By remembering them and praying for them today we remind ourselves that we have great intercessors with Christ remembering and interceding for us.  On “All Souls Day” we acknowledge and profess our faith in the one “Body of Christ”.  It is awesome and comforting to realize that both the living and deceased are united in and with our Lord.

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