Friday, 28 November 2008

I am the Resurrection and the Life ....

"I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25-26).

Amidst the pain and sorrow of death these words from St John's Gospel give us hope. We trust in God's love and mercy.

Why do Catholics pray for the dead?

In the Creed we profess our faith in the Communion of Saints. This means that all the baptised, alive or dead, belong to each other. As such we are part of that great wheel of prayer which is the Catholic Church. The living pray for the souls in Purgatory; the Saints in glory pray for all of us. One for all and all for one. Of course the highest form of prayer, be it for the living or for the dead, is the Holy Mass offered for them, with, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those of us on earth can help those in the process of Purgatory by our prayers. God invites us to help them by sharing in His work of saving the human race. What a great privilege to have such a chance to love and serve. We read in the 2nd Book of Maccabees,

“It is a good and holy thing to pray for the dead that they may be released from their sins.”

(II Maccabees 12: 44-45).

This evening we celebrated our annual Mass for those who have died during the year and it was good to see it so well attended. After Mass many stayed on to chat over a cup of tea or coffee in our parish hall. It is good to have this opportunity to get together and support one another in this way. I am grateful to our parish Bereavement Support Group who kindly helped in the hall after Mass and who also offer a similar opportunity for the bereaved get together for mutual support over a cup of coffee after Mass on a regular basis throughout the year.

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

Thank you, Fr Miceal for offering an evening Mass for our departed loved ones. It was very moving. Thank you also to the Bereavement Group for laying on the coffess afterwards.