Pastor’s Reflection for November 1, 2015

Dear Parishioners,

Today, we celebrate the feast of All Saints. This is a great feast in which we celebrate all All Saintsour brothers and sisters who are now enjoying the fullness of life in the kingdom of heaven. They remind us that this is the vocation of all of us. We are saints in the making. A saint is one who is a friend of God and walks in His ways. We do not have to wait until we die to be a saint; we can be saints on earth – living saints. Let us all strive to be saints by growing daily in our relationship with God through prayer, Scripture, and receiving the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Let us live the life that Jesus not only taught but lived as an example for us to follow and let us turn away from sinful behaviors. May we all one day join the saints in the kingdom of Heaven.

On Monday, we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. This is a day to remember those who have died and are in the process of purification which we call Purgatory. An example would be washing our hands before coming to the dinner table. When we were young, our parents would tell us to wash before dinner after playing outside. This is the same spiritually. If one were to die with an unrepentant sin or a sinful behavior that we never rooted out of our lives, then we will need to “wash” on the other side. We can aid in another’s purification by praying for the dead which is a spiritual work of mercy. Our prayer and sacrifices can hasten a person’s purification. In a sense, our life here on earth should be our purgatory. This is the time to turn away from sin and to grow in holiness. This is the time to be a saint.

On this topic of praying for the dead, we see at times families having funeral services at the funeral home and not having a Mass celebrated for the deceased. The Mass has more benefit for the deceased than a service. The graces of the sacrifice offered at Mass benefit the soul of the deceased. At times I hear family members tell me that it was the request of the deceased to just have a service for whatever reason. I respond by saying the deceased loved one from the other side is now asking for a Mass, knowing what the benefits are that they did not know while they were alive. Do not neglect to have a Mass celebrated for your loved ones. It is of great spiritual benefit for their soul.

It is also a good activity to pray for the souls of the departed, especially those in need of prayer who have no one praying for them. We do this at every Mass that is celebrated. You can dedicate a rosary, fast, offer up one’s suffering, go to Mass, or give to the poor with the intention of offering the benefits for a soul in purgatory.

As a reminder, the monthly Healing Mass will be held this week on Wednesday, November 4, starting with the recitation of the rosary at 7:00 p.m.

I will be available for confession this week on Tuesday, November 3, from 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.

God love you,