Dear friends in Christ
The liturgy of this Sunday draws our attention to one aspect of the Month of the Dead, namely, the resurrection of the body. The Old Testament speaks in a number of places of the hope of the resurrection. At the time of Our Lord’s life most of the Jews believed in this truth, except the Sadducees, who also denied the immortality of the soul, the existence of angels and the power of divine Providence. In the Gospel of the Mass this Sunday we hear how some of the Sadducees approached Jesus with the intention of tripping Him up. According to the Levite law, if a man were to die without issue, then his brother would be under obligation to marry the widow and provide him with descendants. The Sadducees cunningly present Him with a situation of this kind affecting a man with seven brothers. By means of a far-fetched dilemma, the Sadducees attempt to ridicule the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. Jesus, through this encounter reaffirms the teaching of the resurrection of the body and reveals at the same time, some characteristics of life after death where, people neither marry nor are given in marriage…because they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection…he is God not of the dead but of living, for all live to HIm. With these reflections in mind, I would draw your attention to the recently promulgated Directives for Cremation published by the Holy See last week; there is a page summary in the Newsletter this week.
One of the manifestations of our faith in the resurrection of the body, especially during this month of November, is the way we show our love for the Holy Souls by prayer and by visiting their graves. Next Sunday the Parishes of Southend Deanery can make a joint-visit to Sutton Road Cemetery (where many of our Parishioners are interred). We will begin at 3pm (the Hour of Mercy) at the Cross just inside the entrance gates. From there, following some short prayers, we will visit the graves with our Clergy, bless them and place lights on them as a sign of our faith in the resurrection of the body, which Jesus teaches us in the Gospel. God bless you!
Msgr Kevin Hale