Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
We were created for community and belonging is the desire of humankind. On All Souls Day, we are reminded of one of the most beautiful teachings of the Church, that of the Communion of Saints. Those living and dead are united in Christ Jesus, and what a union that is! Comforting and hopeful yet a profound mystery.
During Mass, I often think of my father, who was a man of strong faith, praising God and praying with me as we did so many times when he was on earth. That sharing of faith, hope, love and wisdom is present in a real way. When we worship, we worship together with all believers.
What does it mean to be joined in one “mystical body”? I only know that in some way, the Saints and saints who have gone before us and those of us still striving for holiness on earth, have an unbreakable bond, forged in faith. It is a living union and a beautiful belonging.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
—Pam Coster is Executive Director of Charis Ministries. Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s nationwide, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality. www.charisministries.org
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team