Scripture Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9
Today the Church commemorates the souls of all the baptized who have died and who do not enjoy life with God in heaven. Love for all our brethren urges us to pray for the souls of all the faithful departed. So, in union with the universal church, we commit to the mercy of God all those who have died, that they may rest in peace. It is a Catholic teaching that souls needing post-death purification can benefit from the prayers, alms, sacrifices, and Mass offerings of souls on earth. The Old Testament recounts the Jewish belief that the deceased benefit from temple sacrifice made on their behalf (2 Maccabees 12:42–46). Continuing this Semitic practice, prayers for the dead were offered by Christians from the very earliest years of the Church. The walls of the Christian catacombs of Rome were crowded with innumerable marble plaques in succinct Latin prayer for the dead. There has never been a time when the Church of Christ has not commemorated, remembered, nor prayed for the dead. The Church has encouraged prayer for the dead from the earliest times as an act of Christian charity. St. Augustine says, “If we had no care for the dead, we would not be in the habit of praying for them.”
It is our ardent prayer today that the souls of all the faithful departed be purified by the fire of God’s merciful love. Souls in purgatory have no freewill or ability to atone for themselves. They depend on us, so the Love of God we share in the new and everlasting Covenant with them compels us to assist them through our prayers, fasting, alms-giving and offering Masses, as they continue their journey to be with the Lord. Their journey is timeless as is our solidarity with them through prayer. Love is the one force that shatters the barriers of time and death.
All Holy Souls, our prayers and Mass offerings are directed to you this day, in the hope that what we do on earth may benefit your advancement toward a full life in heaven where you may, in turn, pray that we may one day join with you.
MASS: VIOLET THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED (ALL SOULS) Wis 3:1-9 OR Is25:6-9; Ps 23:1-3.4-6 (R, 1 or 4); Rom 5:5-11; Accl. Mt 11:25; Gospel Mt.5:1-12a
- Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory. Amen.
- Take the prayer for the souls in Purgatory in DSD Section A
Exercise: Remember to pray and book Masses for your love ones who have departed from this world.
Meditation: 2 Maccabees 12:42–46