By AnnAliese Harry
“This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son
and believe in him may have eternal life;
and I will raise them up on the last day.” ~ John 6:40
Many of us have lost a dear one whose absence can be felt on a regular basis. As far back as ancient Roman times, there has always been a fear of what happens to our dearly departed. We worry about whether we will see them again; sometimes, grief can be overwhelming as we worry about the state of their immortal soul.
Yet, today’s Gospel reading reminds us very strongly, “…that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day” (John 6:40).
Often, many of us tend to slip into a phase of Catholicism where we think the only way to heaven is through the many beautiful devotions of the Catholic Church. However, we cannot begin to fathom all the many, gloriously rich ways in which God extends His mercy to every soul.
The Catholic Church’s sacraments, the Church’s precepts, and all the various devotions are tools at our disposal, not only for salvation but also for a rich experience of love and relationship with our Creator.
We are taught from an early age that our purpose is to know, love, and serve God because it is the best way to reciprocate His love for each of us. He breathed not just life into us but also His love into us. Our Catholic faith encourages us to respond to His outpouring of love to deepen our intimacy with our Creator.
At the end of our time here on earth, what counts is that we have responded to the extended hands of love and mercy and become an extension of His hands of love and mercy.
This extension is the true expression of our faith.
Most Loving Father, thank You for the times in which You have extended Your love and mercy toward me. Help me to be the reach of Your love to those I encounter every day.
Call to Action
During this Month of the Holy Souls, pray intentionally for the dearly departed (known and unknown), confident that your prayers will help them quickly enter Eternal Glory.
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