Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lectio Divina for All

Candles Cross
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Jesus does not reject anyone
Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” (Jn 6: 37-40)
The Gospel begins with Jesus declaring that He is the bread of life. St. Augustine tells us that we will always hunger and thirst for God. Is not bread called the “staff of life?” And Jesus begins by telling us that He is Our Bread. Jesus reproves those who do not believe Him. …although you have seen me, you do not believe. Without a deep trust and faith, one cannot satisfy their hunger and thirst for God. Jesus is there, always. We need to accept Him because He … will not reject anyone … Jesus wants us to enter into relationship with Him. He is offering Himself, completely and forever. We need not worry that we are not worthy because He promises He will not reject anyone. This is what God wants. And if we accept Jesus, we will have eternal life. Eternal life—where our hunger and thirst will be satiated.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. 

These words of Jesus reassure us of His constant presence. Sometimes we may question “Where is God?” God is always there. He doesn’t move. We are the ones who move away. If we are honest with ourselves, we should see that it is we who have loosened our grip on God’s hand. But we must not worry. It is God’s will that Jesus not “lose anything of what He gave ...” Persevere in trusting God.

Pope Francis reminded us: 

“Today the liturgy invites us to commemorate the faithful departed. Church Tradition has always urged prayer for the deceased, in particular by offering the Eucharistic Celebration for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to those who are the most forsaken. The foundation of prayer in suffrage lies in the communion of the Mystical Body.

Remembering the dead, caring for their graves and prayers of suffrage, are the testimony of confident hope, rooted in the certainty that death does not have the last word on human existence, for man is destined to a life without limits, which has its roots and its fulfillment in God. Let us raise this prayer to God: “God of infinite mercy, we entrust to your immense goodness all those who have left this world for eternity, where you wait for all humanity, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ your Son, who died as a ransom for our sins. Look not, O Lord, on our poverty, our suffering, our human weakness, when we appear before you to be judged for joy or for condemnation. Look upon us with mercy, born of the tenderness of your heart, and help us to walk in the ways of complete purification. Let none of your children be lost in the eternal fire, where there can be no repentance. We entrust to you, O Lord, the souls of our beloved dead, of those who have died without the comfort of the sacraments, or who have not had an opportunity to repent, even at the end of their lives. May none of them be afraid to meet You, after their earthly pilgrimage, but may they always hope to be welcomed in the embrace of your infinite mercy. May our Sister, corporal death find us always vigilant in prayer and filled with the goodness done in the course of our short or long lives. Lord, may no earthly thing ever separate us from You, but may everyone and everything support us with a burning desire to rest peacefully and eternally in You. Amen” (Fr Antonio Rungi, Passionist, Prayer for the Dead).” (Pope Francis, 2014)
Bless us Father with Your ever constant grace. May Your love always embrace us. Ungrateful as we are wont to be, please accept our petitions. Help us to persevere in faithfulness. We want to love You and be with You eternally. May Jesus always find us. Amen.
We remember how You loved us. 
And still we celebrate
For You are with us here.
Lord, we remember; we celebrate;
we believe.

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