Sunday, November 2, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

It is hard to move from mourning to hope. Some people don’t ever accomplish it. Some take a long time. Some, forever, have a kind of mixed mourning and hope of experience of faith.

Death is indeed a profound mystery. The only other life mystery that probably even comes close is conception and birth. For that reason, the feast of All Souls and the readings of this day are so important and speak so richly to our faith and hope in God.

The word of God tells us today that “we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed.”

This is in perfect keeping with the great mystery of death and resurrection. We don’t have it all figured out nor can we describe it. We hope in it. We have faith that new and eternal life will be ours in Christ. We believe that the faithful departed are now graced with peace, understanding, love and mercy. Surely, this is a day of hope!

That is also why we care for the remains of our departed. We bury them with dignity and respect. We adorn their graves with signs of beauty, like flowers, and decorate headstones with names and images that have personal meanings. We pray for and with them, especially at every Eucharist. We even dedicate Masses to special intentions, because death does not take them from us.

Their souls and ours are wrapped tightly together through love and the experiences we have shared. It may be hard to move from mourning to hope, but with the grace of Christ, all things are possible.

Preparing the details of our own funeral could sound a bit morbid, or it could suggest that not in fear, but in hope and faith, do we look to our new life in Christ.

After all, death equals life in Christ!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

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