BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon

(Jn. 6:37-40)
Feast of All the Faithful Departed (All Soul’s Day)

In the day’s Gospel, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed or All Soul’s Day, Jesus invites those who are weary and are heavily burdened. He was addressing those who are in sin. There is nothing that will cause more labor and weariness than sin. It makes us weak and almost helpless. Jesus offers the best rest which is forgiveness. Jesus summons the sinner to conversion.

It becomes harder when one dies with the sin. But God can still save us. God’s mercy can still be availed of. We believe in the existence of Purgatory. It is a state where souls who are still unworthy of heaven undergoes cleansing through suffering. The Communion of Saints, which we profess in the Creed, tells us that we, the living here on earth, the saints who are in heaven, and the poor souls who are in purgatory are connected and can help each other in prayer. That is why we offer masses for those who are in purgatory. We are encourage to do it. We thank those who never forget to pray for those souls.

This is an expression of our faith in God who is merciful. As Jesus promised to His Father,””This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.” (John 6:39). True to His promise and obedience to His Father, He saved everyone, sinner or saint, when He died on the cross. All Creation are God’s. He loves each and everyone of us. His offering of His only begotten Son to die for us is a testimony to it. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Any mother or father knew the feelings involved in this sacrifice. But for God, we were worth it. Thus, it is no surprise and fully to God’s credit to provide us an opportunity to be united with Him even after death. Purgatory is no walk in the park. It will certainly give us divine justice for everything we have done here on earth. But it gives us hope. God’s mercy and compassion, hopefully will be enough for us to endure and accept our suffering for the sake of being worthy to enter the Kingdom.

On this day, offer a prayer for the souls in purgatory. Give praise to God for His mercy. And never lose hope!

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