Today, we are gathered here, my brothers and sisters, to commemorate the faithful departed. The first reading says, all the faithful departed shall abide with the Lord in love. We are here to prayerfully remember our loved ones - friends, family, neighbors, people we knew and some we did not know - who have already gone to the Lord. We celebrate their lives and thank God for the time we spent with them here on earth. We pray that God gives them good rest and peace. We pray that their lives remain an inspiration to us who are still on pilgrimage here on earth.
Accompany Them with Our Prayers
We are aware that rarely do people die in a perfect state of holiness. There are some who die with unrepented sins or some who did not do sufficient penance to receive total healing for the damage that some sins had caused them. On this day and throughout this month of November, we accompany them with our prayers that God totally heals them so that they can enjoy perfect communion with God who is perfectly holy.
Dressing for the Eternal Banquet
I come from an ethnic community of close to four million people – the Basoga. We have a King who is still young, around 35 years old. He happens to be a close friend that I have direct access to any time I want. Those who follow me on social media saw that in July he came to visit my family and the philanthropic/social justice work I do in the communities. More than 3,000 people gathered to welcome him. The King is preparing for his royal wedding, and it is the news that is trending throughout Uganda. Last week they had a Royal Banquet to raise funds, and on the 18th of this month, they will have the Royal wedding.
At both functions, there is a strict dress code. You cannot show up dressed any way you want. We can say the same thing about spending eternity with God. You need to be spiritually dressed right. To a God who is perfectly holy, He desires that those who will spend eternity with Him are holy, just as He is. The souls that are in purgatory are souls that are still dressing up right for the eternal Royal Banquet. For the love of them and for their benefit, we need to support them with our prayers, almsgiving, fasting, good works, and other acts of piety. These are some things we can do to speed up this process of purification so that our loved ones can enjoy eternal happiness with God.
A Future of Eternal Love
Is there a deceased family member, friend, co-worker, acquaintance, or neighbor that you have not prayed for in a long time? This is the day and the month to pray for them and show them some love.
Today may we be reminded that there is a future that God has prepared for all of us - a future filled with eternal love, laughter, and joy beyond our imagination. May we be reminded of the spiritual needs of our deceased brothers and sisters, and even more importantly be reminded of our own mortality.
Eternal rest grant unto them, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen.
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About Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C.
Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C. is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Father Fred, a native of Uganda, has multiple degrees including theology, philosophy, and communications. His native language is Lusoga and he speaks English, Luganda, Kiswahili, and Rutooro. He has been a teacher, researcher, author and family minister. Father Fred is committed to helping build God’s masterpiece one family at a time.