YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
HOMILY THEME: CHRISTIAN HOPE
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Jn. 6:37-49) Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. (ALL SOUL’s DAY)
We now turn the light on all those faithful who died still needing cleansing because they had not yet been worthy of the Kingdom. No doubt that they are heirs of heaven, the eternal possession of the Kingdom is secured to them, and their names are written there. In the Gospel today, we hear Jesus making that profession and commitment, “I will not reject anyone who comes to me,” and further, He knew the Father’s will, “… that I should not lose anything that He gave to me.
Wisdom conspires by stating, “For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality, chastised a little, they will be greatly blessed.” While it is our goal to be worthy of heaven when we die, God gives us a chance to be purified in what we Catholics call a “purgatory.” It is very much in accordance with our faith. Our God is a God of hope.
When Jesus died on the cross, He died for all of us. He died when we were still sinners. This we must reflect well and deeply. Salvation once and for all was the meaning and purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross. It was done out of love for us and that love will see us through. God will not create just to waste. Man was created in His image and likeness. God meant us to join Him in His Kingdom. Since the creation of the world, God had known man’s weaknesses. His love is everlasting. His mercy is unlimited. His patience is timeless. He will not settle for some. The parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Prodigal Son, etc. are testimonies to it. All will be united in Christ!
But there is divine justice. Divine Justice prevents a life of wanton extravagance and devoid of morality. Fear of God is a virtue. While God understands and accepts our weaknesses, He is not about to tolerate it without account. We are responsible still for our actions. If we fall short, God offers repentance and penance. The truly contrite person and soul should be willing to accept it and go through it.
This day is about Christian hope. It is a hope founded on the belief of the resurrection and God’s mercy. When Jesus died, He descended to the dead not because He had to undergo purgation but because He loved them and give them hope. They were one of those who received first the Good News of eternal life with God. Any place or state outside of heaven is not the place for God’s people. It may take time and a lot of penances, but eventually, we will be welcomed in the Kingdom.
Lastly, the Saints and saints in heaven join us in praying, pleading to God for mercy to those in purgatory. It does matter a lot to let God see our communion. May God be moved by our sincerity and resolve to be long to the Kingdom.