This week Anne O’Brien, Director of Mission, reads and reflects on the daily Gospels.
Today (All Souls Day) as we commemorate all the faithful departed, Anne reads from Mark’s Gospel (15: 33-39, 16:1-6) which tells of Jesus’s last hours on the cross and of his Resurrection.
As she begins, Anne says most of us know someone who has died and is no longer a part of our daily in the same way that they were. There is a sense, then, that we can all identify with the women who made their way to Jesus’s tomb early on Easter Sunday morning. A day that they would never forget. They would have been filled with memories – memories of their time with Him. They carried spices so that they could anoint Jesus’s body.
How many of us have been in a similar situation with unfinished tasks to perform on behalf of our own deceased and loved ones? It is a sacred moment, intimate and deeply personal. These women in the Gospel were very practical women, recognizing that they needed help with moving the heavy stone that sealed the tomb. They did not expect to find it already moved and the entrance open. They did not expect to hear that Jesus had risen from the dead. How could they have expected such a message? One totally beyond their experience. At first, they were scared. Yet, for the rest of their lives, they would tell their story to anybody who was prepared to listen.
When people die, they can feel very far from us. We long to have them back, if only momentarily, in order just to see, hear and speak to them but we must remember our loved ones are not distant – they are deep within our hearts, our memories and our lives. They will be there forever!
Today, we remember those in our hearts, we pray for them and for all of us they left behind.
Anne invites us to remember in prayer our loved ones who have gone before us:
Lord of Life, Give eternal rest to all those who have died, and especially to those who we knew and loved and remember on this special day. Amen