Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46 – Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Today we celebrate All Soul’s Day – praying for all those who have died, those who are being purified: the ones in purgatory. For us, the living, it is a work of mercy. For those souls, it is essential.
Jesus’ statement today causes me to do a double-take on my life. It is not meant to be of any assurance, necessarily. I feel it as a call to not be cocky with self-assurance in doing God’s will. It rouses hope for us, taps into our longing to be with our Shepherd in eternal life. Our actions of serving others do more than just serve them – they bring us close to Jesus and enact compassion. ‘Com’ meaning with, together, ‘passion’ meaning ‘suffering.’ To suffer with, alongside, another. I often avoid situations so as to avoid drama, or taking on other people’s problems and suffering. The result, then, really comes to living a life of selfish isolation; the opposite of what Jesus calls me to do.
Words from Mother Teresa continue to guide me in this: “He [Jesus] has his heart opened wide to receive you. Then when you feel miserable inside, look at the cross and you will know what is happening. Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign you have come so close that he can kiss you.” When we embrace compassion, Christ is right there with us, in us, through us. We become Eucharist for others.
Our challenge is to embrace that compassion, as much as we’d rather turn away, for the encounter with the living God in compassion is real.
Offer your prayers and suffering for those in purgatory today, using your compassion to remember those still suffering.
Lord, may we be inflamed with Your love to care for others we encounter. Help us to rid ourselves of whatever prevents us from caring for Your people and bringing them to You.
Copyright 2018 Jane Korvemaker
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