YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
HOMILY THEME: 11 THINGS I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE DEAD.
BY: Fr. Valentine Obianyanwu
1 After the death of my mum, one of the stupidest things I have discovered that a person could use the brain for is to argue about why we have no need to pray for the dead.
- I discovered that people should stop talking rubbish around those who are bereaved. Stop saying things like; Be strong! God knows the best! The worse is saying something like “move on”.
I know it could be an uphill task to comfort the bereaved. But nothing will give them more relieve than to see you praying for that dead person.
For instance, if I go to Church by Christmas and here the mass intention where a friend of my mum is praying for my mum, I will feel that that person is truly loves my mum and want her good.
It is that deep. Prayer connects and heals.
But I know that tomorrow someone will still come to shake tables and to tell you that All Souls is a pagan feast. This is how some fellow Christians condemn everything the church stands for. But let the judgement be for God.
Praying for the dead, for those who really loved their parents, siblings or friends ooo, can be the greatest relief you could get especially if you consider that they died young.
When a Christian dies his/her fate is known to God alone. Yet while relying on the great inextinguishable mercies of God, we hope he/she is in the blessed heaven and for this we entertain some presumptive joy which gives some the audacity to say their father/mother is in heaven.
But not presuming the mercy of God in alter disregard of God’s justice is better. This is why we offer prayers for God’s mercy upon their life. In this act is an interplay of faith, hope and love.
All Souls Day is dedicated to all the dead, of which God knows their fate. It is not ours to judge them.
If we pray for them, we find in it
- Relieve that we are able to do something for them, part of what we can no longer do for them.
- By this means, death draws you closer to God.
We acknowledge our own guilt before God.
Those who criticize praying for the dead don’t attack or appraise the last two reasons. They only criticize the first. I will give you biblical reasons to believe but not today.
© Valentine Obianyanwu