24. Oct, 2017

The Day of the Dead

All Souls Day Reflection

God invites us to enjoy a richness of life beyond our imagining –the prophet Isaiah says we are invited to a banquet and God will be among us to wipe away our every tear. Although it is beyond our understanding, in the Gospel Jesus tells us something beautiful about how this will be. He says that we will be like children again. It’s not that we’ll regain the innocence of children, rather everything will be put right in our lives and we won’t have the worries & pressures as we do now. Everything will be complete, transformed, and perfect.

 Trusting in God we pray for our loved ones who have died, that they will be raised up with Jesus in the beautiful life to come. There is sadness in parting, but we take comfort in the hope that one day we shall see them again. We take consolation in what Jesus has done for us all, and we long to see them face-to-face.

There is a beautiful story that helps us through the period of loss & I would like to tell it to you. It’s a story of transformation.

... In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs. They could not understand why none of their group came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to her. Soon, one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface.  She rested on the top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation that made her a dragonfly with beautiful wings.  In vain she tried to keep her promise –flying back and forth over the pond. She peered down at her loved ones below. Then she realized, even if they could see her they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number. 

There are other stories to tell. These words are from the book of wisdom, helping us to give meaning to life, suffering & the difficult reality of death:

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction.

But they are in peace.For if to others, indeed, they seem punished, yet is their hope full of immortality;

Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.

As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their judgmentthey shall shine and dart about as sparks through stubble;They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,and his care is with the elect.

Image: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Day of the Dead (1859) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_The_Day_of_the_Dead_(1859).jpg