FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
By Fr. Abe Arganiosa
My dear brothers and sisters soon we shall celebrate the feast of Saints and remember our departed ones. This invites us to reflect on the Mercy of God as well as the beauty of our Catholic Faith.
The All Souls Day reminds us of the frailty of human life. We all want to live but we get sick, we become old, beset by weaknesses and limitations and eventually we die. That is unavoidable. Some will go first but later others will follow. Even though we take the best medicines and go to the best doctors or hospitals still we cannot escape this reality. However, it is through this ordeal that our faith shines: Our Lord is the Author of Life [Acts 3:15] and He came unto us to give us life and have it to the full [Jn 10:10]. He promised immortality for those who believe and hope in Him [Jn 11:25]. Thus, St. Paul beautifully wrote that neither sickness nor death can separate us from the love of God [Rom 8:35-39]. In life or in death, in sickness or in health we put ourselves on the hand of God; we cling to Him like a child on the arm of a loving Father knowing that the One who gave us life will also be the one to grant the grace to live forever. For that reason we await the redemption of our bodies [Rom 8:23] which shall be transformed like His glorious body [Phil 3:20-21] and most of all we shall be like Him [1 Jn 3:2] and we shall see Him face to face, tears will be wiped away replaced by never ending happiness. The Lord shall make everything new [Rev 21:4-5]. This is what God had promised and that is what we are hoping for.
God created us not for suffering, death and decay but for eternal life with Him. So let us entrust to the Lord the souls of our dear departed repeating in our hearts the beautiful prayers of the Church in Liturgy of the Mass: “Lord, look not on our Sins but on the Faith of your Church.” May the Eternal Judge of our souls look on them with Mercy and sanctify their souls for heavenly life.
The same doctrines of Immortality of the Soul and Life after Death teach us about the Saints in Heaven who are alive in God, sharing in His glory [Heb 12:22-24]. We are surrounded by Cloud of Witnesses [Rev 12:1] and for that reason our life even here on earth is in Communion with the Saints and the Angels of heaven. Our daily Sacrifice declares: “And so Father together with the Angels and Archangels and the Saints in heaven we proclaim your Glory as we say Holy, Holy Holy…” We are not alone. The Blessed Virgin and the Saints are watching over us. They encourage us on to continue believing even if sometimes the problems are too hard and the pain so unbearable. They are human beings like us in all things. They suffered the way we do and were weak as we are. But in their weakness they remained faithful to Jesus. They were steadfast in love and for that they earned the crown of eternal life [James 1:12/ Rev 2:10].
May our celebration of the Halloween will not focus on the horror stories instead on the heroic, glorious lives of Saints. May we bask not in the horrifying images of the creatures of darkness but in the heavenly images of Saints and Angels surrounded by heavenly light. Most of all may the Intercession of Saints help us raise our supplications to the Throne of Mercy on high [Rev 8:3] every single day. Together let us plead to God for the repose of the souls of those who have gone before us. Let us also pray for those who are sorrowing, those in darkness of mind and heart and those who feel oppressed, rejected, abandoned and in despair… may they feel the loving presence of God in their lives through the Church, through each of us and through the prayers of our Saints.