Monday, November 2, 2015

“God knows that we’re only pilgrims and that eternity is so close that ‘goodbye’ is in reality ‘see you tomorrow’.” – Max Lucado - Daily Reflections November 2,2015

An hour before the most important basketball game of his career, James received an emergency call. At the other end of the line was his mother informing him of the death of his father who has been battling diabetes for a while. His coach gave him permission to leave and grieve his dead father. To the coach’s surprise, James insisted he will play. “You see, coach,” he explained, “my father has been blinded by diabetes. He never really got to see me play. Now that he has passed on, he can see me play.”
       Even in death, relationships continue. This is the Christian attitude in the face of death. In the Preface of the Mass of Christian burial, the priest proclaims, “Lord, for Your faithful people, life is changed, not ended.” This is why we continue to pray for the dead. We believe that they, too, continue to pray for us.
     Our prayers for the dead hinges on the Catholic doctrine about purgatory. This teaching dates back to the Old Testament in 2 Maccabees 12:39-46. In this account, Judas Maccabeus found “magic” amulets in the bodies of dead Jewish soldiers. This indicated that they have sinned against God by practicing idolatry. In restitution, Judas “then took up a collection among all his soldiers…which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice…Thus, he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.” Then the book concluded with “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead.”
       Today’s feast contains with it a double affirmation. First, God is all Holy and nothing unholy will stand before His presence, as Revelation 21:27 reminds us: “Nothing unclean will enter” heaven. Secondly, as St. Paul affirms, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thus we speak of a period of purification, of purgation.
       Today, with faith and vibrant hope, we affirm that death has no sting, it has no victory over one who lives in Christ. Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: “God knows that we’re only pilgrims and that eternity is so close that ‘goodbye’ is in reality ‘see you tomorrow’.” – Max Lucado
Lord, for Your faithful people, life is changed in death, not ended. Amen.

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