REFLECTION FOR TODAY
November 2, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.” Jn. 6:40
Today we remember the souls of all those who have passed from this life to the other. It may seem a sad day as we recall our beloved dead but those who died in Christ as our gospel reference today tells us, will be raised on the last day to see the Father face-to- face.
All Souls commemoration serves to remind us that God, knowing the weakness and frailty of the human person has made a way for us to enter his holy presence perfectly cleansed and acceptable to him. Today therefore is a day when we pray for everyone who had received the gift of faith in baptism and who, having passed the gate of physical death, now await the final judgment.
The Church, in her wisdom and holiness, has taught that when a person passes from this world to the next while still attached to less serious sin, they need to be fully purified to enter Heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (CCC #1030–1031a).
Purgatory can be frightening and even confusing. Why would God, in His infinite mercy, not simply take all our loved ones who followed Him straight to Heaven? The answer is simple. He does! And the path for them to Heaven is this incredible mercy of their final purification.
Purgatory must be seen as a final mercy from God by which He lifts every burden that keeps us from perfect love, so that our eternity will be one of utmost freedom and ecstasy. God wants us to be filled only with the purity of love forever. Thus, upon our death, we are graced to enter a final and intense purification of every minor sin, so that when we see God in all His glory, we will see Him with the perfection to which we are called.
Purgatory is a gift, a grace, a mercy. It will be painful to go through in the same way that overcoming any sin is painful. But the good fruit of freedom from sin makes every final purification we must endure worth it a hundredfold and more.
Reflect, today, upon the spiritual truth that God wants you to be a saint. If you are among those few who die in a state in which you are purified from every sin, then be assured that you have already completed your purgatory on earth. But if you or your loved ones are among the many who still hold some minor attachment to sin at the time of death, then rejoice that God is not done with you yet. Anticipate with much gratitude the final purification that awaits and look forward to the freedom that ultimately comes from that purification.
Lord, You desire that my soul and the souls of all your faithful be purified of every sin, even the smallest imperfection. I thank You for the mercy of Purgatory and pray that I will continually work toward that purification here and now. I pray, also, for all those who have gone before me and are still in need of these purifying fires. Pour forth Your mercy upon them so that they may be counted among the saints in Heaven. Jesus, I trust in You.