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This Sunday we celebrate The Commemoration of All Souls. This Feast is always celebrated on November 2nd, and this week it displaces the celebration of the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. On this day we remember and pray for our deceased relatives and friends, but also for all those who have died marked with the sign of faith.
Our readings for this feast remind us that our God is a God of life and love, and that God wants to share God’s life and love with us not just in this world, but in the life to come. This is the clear message of Jesus in our Gospel today. “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him, may have eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.”
Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of Wisdom. Although this Book was written about one hundred years before the time of Christ, it clearly reflects a belief in some kind of eternal life. The opening lines of today’s reading speak clearly of this belief: “The souls of the just are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them. They seemed in the view of the foolish to be dead, and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us utter destruction. But they are in peace.”
Our second reading this Sunday is from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. In this reading, Paul is clear about our belief in the resurrection of the dead. “For if we have grown into union with him (Christ) through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. What helps you to believe in eternal life?
2. How would you explain eternal life to someone who didn’t believe in it?
3. Do you believe people can lose the opportunity to enjoy eternal life?