Words of hope and renewal for all souls
The Church, in her wisdom, has put together the Feast of All Saints and the Memorial for All Souls as a reminder that God has a plan for the rescue of all the souls of the faithful departed.
“We are inspired by the lives of the saints, especially of the canonized saints we know and celebrate throughout the year. And we are inspired by all those saints who may never be known by canonization, but who, in their private and quiet lives, have been examples of the love of God and neighbor. For all of them we give thanks, and we commend ourselves to their inspiration and intercession for us in the communion of saints,” said Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, at an All Souls’ Day Mass at San Fernando Cemetery II on Nov. 2.
He added that, at the same time we all know that most souls struggle in this life, perhaps even ourselves! “There are few people who desire to do harm or do evil in this life, but most of us have our shortcomings, our faults, and the mistakes we make day in and day out. When we die we are destined for heaven, but we may not be ready for it, yet! We offer our prayers for them, and we offer our sacrifices and good works for their benefit, because we want them to enjoy the face of God as soon as possible!”
The archbishop emphasized that all need to reflect on how we may live our lives in the light of the inevitability of death, which shall come to each one of us. “How can we prepare for heaven?” he asked, responding that, fortunately, Jesus gave us the answers to the final exam in St. Matthew’s Gospel, in the 25th chapter: “When I was hungry, did you give me to eat? When I was thirsty, did you give me to drink? When I was naked, sick, or imprisoned, did you visit me and clothe me? When you did these things for one of my little ones, you did it to me!”
Archbishop Gustavo requested that attendees pray for their beloved deceased, that their souls may know the splendor of heaven. He told listeners to also rededicate themselves to the love of God and neighbor in their own lives.
“Even if we have failed yesterday, or even earlier today, let us recall that we have a merciful Father who is always ready to forgive, to heal us, and to renew the gift of love in our hearts,” the archbishop concluded. “We can begin loving God by loving our neighbor, especially the most needy. Let us strive to join the communion of Saints!”
In addition to the liturgy at San Fernando Cemetery II, Auxiliary Bishop Michael Boulette presided at a Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery, and Bishop Emeritus Michael Pfeifer, OMI, of the Diocese of Brownsville celebrated at the service at San Fernando Cemetery III.