Category: Church

A Day To Remember The Dead: All Hope Is Never Lost. 

A Day To Remember The Dead: All Hope Is Never Lost. 

*A Day to Remember the Dead: All Hope is Never Lost*

(Homily for Friday 2nd November 2018).

_“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts” *(Romans 5:5)*_ 

Yesterday November 1, was All Saints day, today November 2, is All Souls Day. Our celebration today is both bitter and sweet. Bitter because we remember our dead, sweet because we know the power of our prayers on their behalf. Our celebration today is not too different from what we do at funeral masses except that on this day, we do not have just one casket in front of the altar, but many; very many, so many indeed. 

It is easy for us to remember and pray for our close relatives, our friends, our parents, our colleagues, those with whom we shared good times, but today is also the chance to remember and pray for those who had no one to pray for them, those who didn’t have the chance of a befitting burial, the unknown souls; victims of natural disasters. (flooding, earthquakes, typhoon, and so on). We also remember millions of people who have died as a result of man’s inhumanity to man; victims of abortion, sales of expired drugs and fake food, holocausts, war and so on. 

*Why do we pray for the dead?*

One, in praying for the dead, we actually remember them and by doing so, we offer them a great gift. I once read somewhere, “you will know your true value when you consider the speed with which you will be forgotten after your death.” A day like this is actually a good day for the dead as long as one living person still remembers them. Nothing is as beautiful as being remembered by someone after your death. 

Two, by praying for the dead, we become wiser and better. Death is a great teacher and one of its lessons is the equality of all humans. Death teaches us that looking down on others or treating people with disdain, coldness or unforgiveness is senseless. Even the few minutes we spend thinking of our dead ones could enhance the quality of our lives and our relationship with one another. 

Three, our prayers for the dead help to reduce their suffering. As Africans, one of our traditional beliefs is in the notion of people who died “before their time.” Such persons are said to be in a state of wandering (roaming about) until they finally settle with the Ancestors. As Catholics, we believe in purgatory, a place that is neither hell nor heaven where the sins of the dead are purged (cleansed) until they are admitted to heaven. This is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1030. There have been countless incidences of dead people appearing to the living either in dreams or in visions requesting for prayers or even going further to give advice or warning.

In the end, what we actually celebrate today is HOPE. Hope that as we pray for the dead, they will enter heaven, hope that if they are in heaven, they will pray for us. Hope that one day, when we too depart, there would be people praying for us. St. Paul tells us in our second reading today that Hope does not disappoint us. 

Together with Job in our first reading, we sing: “I know my Redeemer lives.” I know God who is my Redeemer will not abandon me even after my death. I know I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side. Our Psalmist continues this song saying “The Lord is my Shepherd… surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for length of days unending.”

Finally, just like yesterday, we hear Jesus repeat the beatitudes again. As we hear these beatitudes again, we are made to understand that they apply not only to the Saints, but to all departed souls. By repeating this reading, the church wants us to meditate on what is really important; the beatitudes.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, deepen our hope of resurrection for your departed servants. Amen.

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Solemnity of All Souls. Bible Study: Job 19:1-27, Psalm 23:1-6, Romans 5:5-11 and Matthew 5:1-12).*

-Fr. Abu.

Why Catholics Celebrate Day Of The Dead.

Why Catholics Celebrate Day Of The Dead.

Día de los Muertos: It’s more than just a parade of colorful skeletons.

The authentic celebration of Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is recognized by the Catholic Church as the universal feast of All Souls’ Day on November 2. And unlike the now secular holiday Halloween — a dark night of tricks and treats – the Day of the Dead is a colorful and joyous (if bittersweet) celebration, dedicated to remembering the lives of the departed and offering prayers for those in Purgatory.

(Of course, secular Halloween is also deeply rooted in Catholicism, as it is actually the Eve of All Hallow’s Day, or All Saints’ Day on November 1).

Check out these spectacular photos that really capture the feel of the celebration: 

The Day of the Dead calls upon the Catholic understanding of death as having been vanquished by Christ, and through his conquest, the door to eternal life. Thus, it is a reminder that all of life on earth is really a preparation for death, and that in death, we will be reunited with all those who have gone on before us to eternal life.

All Saints Day and the Day of the Dead are a multi-day holiday event in Mexico and a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate the lives of the deceased. Private home altars (ofrendas) are constructed to display photos of departed loved ones, sugar skulls (calaveras), and vibrant flowers. Families will also visit cemeteries and bring food and drink offerings that the deceased would have enjoyed while they were alive.

Everyone will enjoy pan de muerto (bread of the dead). And for the finale, tens of thousands participate in lively street processions (desfiles) featuring music and dancing, magnificent costumes, and, of course, the iconic Calaveras Catrinas (elegantly dressed skeleton ladies, based on a 1910 engraving by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada). 

Does God Allow Divorce And Remarriage? 

Does God Allow Divorce And Remarriage? 


Marriage flows when a couple dies of themselves.

For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with injustice, says the Lord of hosts; you must then safeguard life that is your own, and not break faith.   —  Malachi 2:16.

But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”   —-  Mark 10:5-9.

‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery’.  —  Mark 10:11-12.

It was also said, “Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.” ‘But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery’.  —-  Matthew 5:31-32.

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” …I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery. —  Matthew 19:3-6,9.

‘Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery’. Luke 16:18.

Thus a married woman is bound by law to her living husband. Consequently, while her husband is alive she will be called an adulteress if she consorts with another man. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and she is not an adulteress if she consorts with another man. –Romans 7:2-3.

‘You Can’t Ignore God And Still Expect His Blessings’ – A Priest’s Warning. 

‘You Can’t Ignore God And Still Expect His Blessings’ – A Priest’s Warning. 

One cannot expect to ignore the Holy Spirit and receive his blessings at the same time.

One cannot expect to ignore God’s will and yet receive the benefits of following Him.

One cannot treat God as a hobby and expect to be treated as His son or daughter.

One cannot blow off the teachings of the Church yet expect to receive its benefits unabated.

One cannot spread discord, detraction, and calumny and call yourself a loyal son or daughter.

One cannot allow the sin of another, real or perceived, to be cause and justification for one’s own sin.

We can only reap the crop we sow.

We will have the measure used on us that we used on others.

This is why Catholicism is hard. The focus of judging actions always starts with the manner in which they either judge or give license to their own sin. It is in this that we understand the necessity we have for God’s mercy and necessity we have to be agents of God’s mercy: neither ignoring or enabling sin, but always calling to holiness.

Originally posted on Facebook

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