November 2, 2016

All Souls

November 2, 2016:  Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed = All Souls

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Pope Francis
Inflight press conference:  We can't close our hearts to a refugee.  Prudent leaders must be open to receiving them, but also to make calculations as to how to settle them.  It’s not human to close doors!  Countries that close their borders are counseled by fear, but the best counselor is prudence.  
On the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood, the word St. John Paul II spoke remains.  But women do many things better than men.  In Catholic ecclesiology there are two dimensions:  Petrine and and Marian.  Who's most important in theology and in the Church:  the apostles or Mary at Pentecost?  Mary!  The Church is a woman, the spouse of Christ.  A Church doesn't exist without this feminine dimension, because she herself is feminine.
I plan to participate in and speak at the ICCRS celebration of 50 years of charismatic renewal.  The word 'pentecostal' is misleading because it can refer to many things, even some opposites.  When I was provincial of the Jesuits, I forbade the Jesuits to get involved and I said their liturgical celebrations shouldn't be schools of Samba, but now I think the opposite when it's well done.  I began to recognize the good the renewal had given the Church...
Pope Benedict spoke of secularization a lot.  When faith becomes tepid, it’s because the Church is weakened.  Evangelization was lacking.  There's a bad form of 'inculturaton' where we receive the world from God, then feel like an owner and begin to create another culture and occupy the place of the Creator.  In secularization, I believe sooner or later you sin against God the Creator.  You need a healthy secularism, healthy autonomy of things, the sciences, thought, politics....  The worst thing that can happen to the Church is for spiritual worldliness to enter in.  At the Last Supper Jesus prays that we be defended from worldliness, a secularization with make-up....
Since I became a priest, I've had this restlessness of the flesh of Christ:  Christ continues to suffer and is crucified in his weakest brothers.  We always worked together with non-Catholics and non-believers against slave labor.  I worked with Sisters working with women enslaved in prostitution.  Here in Italy many volunteer groups work against slavery....
Read
  • Wis 3:1-9  The souls of the just are in God's hands.  They seemed dead and their going from us destruction, but they're at peace, have hope, and will be blessed.  God proved them, found them worthy, and shall be their King.  They'll shine, judge, rule, and abide with Lord.
  • Ps 23:1-6  "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."  He's beside me, giving me rest, courage, refreshment, and guidance.  I fear no evil.  Kindness follows me; I'll dwell in God's house forever.
  • Rom 5:5-11  Hope doesn't disappoint, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Spirit.  God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since we're justified by his blood, we'll be saved through him.  The death of God's son reconciled us to God while we were enemies; how much more will he save us now that we're reconciled.
  • Rom 6:3-9  We were baptized into Christ's death, buried with him so we, like he, might have new life.  United with him in death, we'll be united with him in the resurrection.  We were crucified with him so we might no longer be slaves to sin.  We who have died with Christ believe we'll live with him.   Christ, raised, dies no more; death has no power over him.
  • Jn 6:37-40  “Everything the Father gives me will come to me, and I won't reject anyone who comes to me.  The Father wants me to raise what he gave me to life.”
Reflect
      The Day of the Dead/ Bouguereau
    • Creighton:  Death is a natural part of life.  As we live, we develop human bonds of family, friends, fellow workers... and this makes separation harder.  In the presence or anticipation of death, our hearts darken and we can't offer head answers to heart questions.  Only trust in God can console us:  "Those who believe in me, even if they die, will live." We pray for the dead in faith and trust in God’s goodness. But we may wonder, "Why pray for them now?"  To God everything is present. In ways hard to understand, today's prayers were present to God when our loved ones died and were "effective" then.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "How often to pray for the dead":  We should pray for those who have died.  We pray for the dead at Mass each day but need to ask the Spirit how often we should pray for the dead, who depend on us greatly.  "There's no doubt the dead are helped by the prayers of Holy Church and the sacrifice of salvation and by alms....  Show solicitude, care, and zeal:  offer alms and prayers and supplications to help them" (Augustine, Sermon 172).  "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on them.  May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace."
    • Passionist:  Today is a day not to focus on the dividing line between purgatory and heaven but to consider that we're all on the way home to the Father.  We've died to sin and await entry into the Father’s house.  We too are "poor souls,” confident God’s grace will help us pass to heavenly life.  We pray for those on the journey with us, that we continue to live the life of grace. We pray for those who have gone before us, that their faith bring them home....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Everyone who believes in him will be raised up":  We desire everlasting life and happiness; thank God the life he gives us lasts beyond our physical death.  Job trusted God despite his suffering:  "I know my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been destroyed, in my flesh I shall see God...."  God strengthened Job and rewarded him for his trust and hope.  King David also expressed hope in everlasting life:  "My heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead nor let your faithful one see decay.  You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence...."  Jesus promised everlasting life to all who see and believe in him.  The Lord makes his presence known to us in his word, the breaking of the bread, and his church.  The Lord reveals himself to those who seek him with faith....  God offers us faith through his Son Jesus Christ; we couldn't approach God if he didn't draw us to him.  The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit who opens us to hear God and respond with trust and submission. The Spirit is the key to growth in faith.  "I believe, to understand; and I understand, better to believe" (Augustine).  Those who accept Jesus and submit to his word will be raised up when he comes again.
    Dress legend
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The souls of the just are in peace (1st reading)
    • Gold-colored accoutrements:  As gold in the furnace, God proved them (1st reading)
    • 'Sheep' bar:  The Lord is my shepherd (psalm)
    • Green suspenders:  In verdant pastures he gives me repose (psalm); Ordinary Time (season)
    • Blue in shirt:  Beside restful waters he leads me (psalm)
    • 'Silverware' bar:  You spread the table before me (psalm)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  The souls of the just are in God's hand... (1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord shall be their King forever. (1st reading)
    • 'Cars on roads' tie:  The Lord guides me in right paths (psalm)
    • 'Dove' pin:  God's love has been poured out into us through the Holy Spirit (2nd reading)
    • Crucifix:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (2nd reading)
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  We're justified by Christ's blood (2nd reading)