The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Reading 1Wis 3:1-9; Reading 2 Rom 5:5-11; Gospel Jn 6:37-40
Today the Church commemorates the all Soul’s day. There have been many treatises and studies on death though not even one knows the truth of death and those who know it can never come and tell us all these. Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, who has written much on death calls death as a call to authenticity. Our authentic nature is to be a human and humane. Authenticity is taking charge and responsibility of one’s life and actions. Death is the sure possibility where all other possibilities of life end. At the end it is a moment to check whether he have lived up to our authentic nature or not. Hence, thinking of death one is led to live an authentic life. Death is a moment of crowing if we have lived a life of authenticity. Kahil Gibran puts it like this: Death is like a slave kneeling in front of the king to be crowned. But the slave is so full of trembling in front of the king and forgets the joy of the crown about to be placed on him. Death in Christian understanding is the culmination of a journey here on earth and a starting of another journey in the other world. Today’s Gospel passage would remind us that the ultimate yardstick of life is the way we have lived our life. All soul’s day, along with a time to pray for all the souls in purgatory is also a time to reflect on the mystery of death. Though St. Paul exclaims, ‘O death, Where is thy sting,’ the reality is that we would all die one day. What Christ did was to give a new meaning to the reality of death. There is life even after death. But to enjoy the life after death, live well before death.