Theme: Praying for the dead!
By: Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese).
Homily for Tuesday November 2 2021
Wis.3:1-9; Ps.23:1-6; Rom.5:5-11; Mark 15:33-39,16:1-6
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 Church will extend this indulgence throughout the month of November, a privilege which began last year. 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.
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 dead men had committed.
What about Paul’s prayer for a man named Onesiphorus who had died in II Tim.1:18? In Rom. 5:5, Paul again reminds us that our hope in the resurrection is not deceptive, since Christ died for sinful men. Come to think of it; the widow of Nain must have prayed in her heart to God for her dead son. When Jesus raised him, he wasn’t only interested in the boy’s immediate life, he was prefiguring eternal life for him as well. Please pray for the dead, they need our prayers. And as we do that, we must realise that this life is passing. We must strive daily to live well, that death when it comes, will not find us napping, Amen.
Good morning dear. God bless your day ahead. May the soul of my Mom, 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.