HOMILY FOR ALL SOULS – 30TH WEEK IN ORDIRARY TIME (YEAR A)
THEME: PRAYING FOR THE DEAD
By Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese).
Wis.3:1-9; Ps.23:1-6; Rom.5:5-11; Matt. 5 : 1-12a
Today, we remember those who have died, and we pray for them. The Church offers an indulgence to those who visit a cemetery today, and offer some prayers for the dead. The tradition of praying for the dead is a deeply Christian tradition, which comes from our faith in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, and from our belief in the communion of Saints. The book of wisdom reminds us that only the unwise think that the virtuous are truly dead. The Seventh spiritual work of Mercy encourages us to pray for the living and the dead.
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The earliest Scriptural reference to prayers for the dead comes in II Macc.12:39-45, which tells how Judas Maccabee, the Jewish leader, led his troops into battle in 163 B.C. When the battle ended he directed that the bodies of those Jews who had died be buried. As soldiers prepared their slain comrades for burial, they discovered that each was wearing an amulet taken as booty from a pagan Temple. This violated the law of Deuteronomy and so Judas and his soldiers prayed that God would forgive the sin these men had committed. What about Paul’s prayer for a man named Onesiphorus who had died in Second Tim.1:18? In Rom. 5:5, Paul again reminds us that our hope in the resurrection of the dead is not deceptive, since Christ died for sinful men. Friends, when we strive here on earth to remain faithful to Christ, in spite of great suffering and persecutions of all kinds on account of the Gospel, our reward will be great in heaven.
Good morning dear. May the souls of my late Mom, Rev. Fr. Peter Ebhota Udo, the souls of my relatives, the souls of your loved ones, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace, Amen.
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