Fr. Roger J. Landry
Bishop Connolly High School, Fall River, MA
Mass for the Deceased Alumni & Benefactors
November 12, 2002
St. Paul says that the three things that abide are faith, hope and love, and we come together tonight moved by each of those virtues:
a) Christ’s Resurrection over death and over sin.
b) Jesus is true to his word, that he has gone to prepare a place for us and will come back to take us with him, so that where he is, we also may be.
c) That to follow Jesus, means to follow him into his death, sometimes after following him into suffering, in order to follow him to eternal life through Resurrection.
d) In existence of Purgatory, that in order to enter straight into heaven, we need to be completely purified of all sin and worldliness, including the least sins, and completely attached to God.
• If we do not die in the state of mortal sin, but don’t die completely attached to God, God has created a temporary state where those who are guaranteed heaven are purified due to their own prayers and longings for heaven, and, through the communion of saints, due to our prayers and sacrifices made for them out of love here on earth.
• The greatest prayer we can offer for loved ones is Christ’s own in the Mass, from the last Supper and the Cross, the prayer which saved them, which conquered death once and for all.
a) Hope is in the Lord and his promises
b) That the souls of the just are in the hands of the Lord, and that these hands are gloriously scarred out of love for them.
c) The hope that if God didn’t spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all, that he’ll give us everything else besides.
3) Love — both God’s love and ours
a) First God’s love: “Having loved those who were his own in the world, he loved them unto the end.”
b) Neither death nor life nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
c) Christ loves our loved ones even more than we do and died so that they might live.
d) But also our love. Love never ends. That’s why we remain faithful to them in praying here on earth. That’s why our memory for them and our hope that they are with the Lord inspires us one day to be with them in the loving presence of the Lord.
Tonight we come before the Lord and say to him, Lord, we believe that you are indeed the Resurrection and the Life. We put into practice what he said, that unless we worthily eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have no life in us, but that if we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we will live forever.
We pray that through this celebration, we may come to that eternal banquet in heaven, around the Lamb looking as if he has been slain, around the angels and the saints, around all our deceased loved ones.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithfully departed rest in peace. Amen.