A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ALL SOULS – NOV. 2ND, 2014 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this evening!
One of our least favorite topics to talk about, as Twenty-First Century Americans, has got to be Death and Dying. People die all around us every year, but of all topics, the one we most want to avoid talking about and dealing with, so many times is death. I guess that we feel we deal with that one when we have to deal with it. And if we don’t have to deal with it, we don’t. We don’t even like to say that somebody died. We say they “passed on” or “they departed” or “they left this world”. And when someone dies, we pump them full of chemicals and preservatives, so that their bodies will last a little longer and won’t stink. And then we paint them up with cosmetics so that they don’t look dead. I don’t know about you guys, but I would kinda like to look dead, when I am dead. It is so strange, too, for guys, who would never think of using make-up when we were living, to know that when we die, they are going to paint us all up like a clown in a circus. Kinda makes you want to put off dying for as long as possible, doesn’t it?
Well, today, we come together as Church to celebrate The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, or what is commonly known as All Souls Day. Today, on this one day of the year, the Catholic Church pauses to remember all of those who have gone before us in Faith. Today is the Memorial Day of the Church’s calendar. We pray for God’s mercy for the dead, most especially, all of those who have died in the past year. It is a somber Feast Day. Always following the day after All Saint’s Day, yesterday, Nov. 2nd, today demands that we deal with death and the dead. These are a very important part of our Faith! It is not something to be afraid of or avoided at all costs. But perhaps the most important part of this Feast Day isn’t about those who have already died, those whom we pray for, instead it is that we too are on our way home to God. Everybody dies. Nobody lives forever. Getting up today, each one of us is now one day closer to our deaths, our own journey home. And we don’t like to think about that. And we don’t like to talk about that. But to fully understand just how important Christianity is, and what God is offering us by resurrection and eternal life, we as Catholic Christians need this day and this Feast. We, the living, can’t forget what this life is about, and where we are headed after our time in this world is over. If we forget, we get lost. And our journey home to Heaven is one trip that we want to make sure that we don’t get lost on.
To deny death is not a good thing. It doesn’t help. There’s a reason why every Ash Wednesday, we come down this aisle, and as we are marked with ashes, we hear those words…”Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.” We can’t forget that. We forget that and we not just dead, but we could very well be damned, which, let me assure you, is much, much worse that being dead. My brothers and sisters, each one of us is given an extremely limited time on this earth. We are to make the most of every single day to love and serve God and to love and take care of our brothers and sisters. How are you doing with your time? Are you doing God’s work with your life? Or are you watching TV and playing games on the internet? It is time for all of us to get serious about our Faith, our life, and our deaths! We don’t have forever! One of the most common things that I hear from people on their death beds is, “I sure never thought that this would happen to me.” Seriously? If you live your life, again, especially as a Catholic Christian, and you don’t think at least once a day about dying, you’re not doing this right. We can’t forget. We can’t pretend. This is not home and this life is not what lasts. It’s time to wake up and pay attention!
Have you ever thought about what if next year on All Soul’s Day, your name was on the list of the deceased? One year, it is going to happen for all of us. We can’t deny that. If you knew your name was going to be on next year’s list, what would you do differently this year? What would you do now to get ready? Maybe that country song, by Mr. Tim McGraw, is right. Maybe it is time for all of us to live like we were dying. And maybe nothing teaches us that better, than All Soul’s Day!
+ May God bless us and help us to get ready, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!