Why We Pray for the Dead, Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, November 2, 2014

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
All Souls’ Day 2014
November 2, 2014
Wis 3:1-9, Ps 23, Rom 6:3-9, Jn 6:37-40

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below: 

 

The following text guided the homily: 

Praying for the Dead

Today, with Catholics throughout the world, we commemorate all the faithful departed — those who died earlier today in Fall River, those who have been buried out of our parish and our mother parishes during the last 140 years, the beloved deceased members of our families, the victims of war, violence and genocide, those who have died of hunger, disease and neglect, the infants who have died in miscarriages or who have been killed through exposure or abortion, the Christians who have died for the faith in persecution, the anonymous who rest in common graves, those forgotten by the world and whose names are known only by God. We especially entrust to the Lord those who have died over the past year whose names I have printed in the bulletin.

The Church remembers the faithful departed not just on this day but throughout the entire month of November in a special way. We begin the month, as we did yesterday, by celebrating the saints — those who are definitively in heaven, the canonized and un-canonized saints — and by invoking their intercession as we continue on our pilgrimage of faith in this world. But then we immediately turn in suffrage for all those who have died who long to share in the communion of the saints but who are not yet experiencing their joy.

To pray for the dead is the main purpose of this All Souls Day. We pray for the dead because we know in faith three truths: first, contrary to the popular heresy that presumes that everyone who dies goes to a “better place,” the Catholic faith does not believe everyone who dies goes to heaven, especially immediately; second, the dead may need our help; and third our prayers and sacrifices can in fact help them. Let’s examine more deeply these three truths of faith.

Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

First, the Church teaches that to enter heaven, one must be completely attached to God and radically detached from all sin and everything that is not of God. “Nothing unclean shall enter heaven,” the Book of Revelation tells us (Rev. 21:27). There are many who do not live and die with that type of purity of life and hence they need to be purified to enter into the kingdom in which God is all in all. This state in which the dead are decontaminated from all sin and worldliness has been traditionally called by the Church “Purgatory” from the Latin term purgare, which means “to cleanse.” In 2007, Pope Benedict wrote an encyclical letter on Christian hope in which he talked about what happens after we die and who goes to Hell, Heaven and Purgatory. Today is a good day to review his words. .

He described Hell as that state where those people go “who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves.” He commented, “This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history.” He doesn’t mention anyone by name, but we can think that some genocidal leaders, sadistic serial killers, abortionists, if their deeds correspond to what was really in their hearts and they failed to repent, would end up here. “In such people,” Pope Benedict added, “all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable. This is what we mean by the word Hell.” Hell, the Catechism tells us, is the place of “definitive self-exclusion” from God. All who go to Hell choose it, because they would consider Heaven — where everyone adores God — a hell for them who want a life without God. I’ve seen glimpses of those who would be in Hell by those who seemed to choose it on earth. I remember with horror a few deathbeds at which I’ve been present when family members have called me at the last second in the hope that their family member, like the Good Thief, will open up to receive God’s mercy. Some have, which are among the most beautiful moments in priestly life. But others have not. Some dying people have started to yell at me as soon as I entered the room, with clenched fists and expletives telling me to leave, screaming that they’ve lived their life without God until then and don’t want to die with God either. Hell is a real possibility for human freedom.

Heaven, Pope Benedict said in contrast, is the place to which go those “who are utterly pure, completely permeated by God, and thus fully open to their neighbors—people for whom communion with God even now gives direction to their entire being and whose journey towards God only brings to fulfillment what they already are.” Not even all the canonized saints go immediately to heaven because, even though they live the Christian faith with heroic virtue, there may be parts of their life that are not totally redeemed, they may still have some defects, whether anger, impatience, vanity, lack of total forgiveness for those who have hurt them, or other means. Pope Benedict tells us that “we know from experience that neither case” — those who have totally destroyed their desire for God or those who live exclusively out of that desire — “is normal in human life.”

He goes on to describe Purgatory. “For the great majority of people—we may suppose—there remains in the depths of their being an ultimate interior openness to truth, to love, to God. In the concrete choices of life, however, it is covered over by ever new compromises with evil—much filth covers purity, but the thirst for purity remains and it still constantly re-emerges from all that is base and remains present in the soul. What happens to such individuals when they appear before the Judge?” He says that they need to be purified, to “pass through fire so as to become fully open to receiving God and able to take our place at the table of the eternal marriage-feast.” That encounter happens in the fire of Christ’s saving love. “Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves.” This, he says with hope, is the place where the great majority of people go, the people who are in need of this purifying fire of Christ’s love. We’ll return to the spiritual consequences of this with regard to what we’re doing today shortly.

Forgiveness of Sins after Death

The second truth is that Church has believed in the need for purification after death since before she was even founded. In the second book of Maccabees, written about 140 years before Christ’s birth, we see that that the Jewish people offered sacrifices in the temple for all those Jews who had lived a double life and betrayed the Lord by carrying in their clothing various idols of the Greek pagans who sought to destroy the temple and extirpate the Jewish faith. Very much to the point, the sacred author wrote: if they “were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead” (2 Macc 12:43-45). In St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Mt 12:32), implying quite clearly that there are some sins that can be forgiven in the age to come, the type of sin which St. John’s first letter says is not “mortal” or “deadly” (1 John 5:16). Continuing the tradition of the faithful Jews, the Church has therefore prayed for people to be purified of their venial sins, because such behavior is not “superfluous” or “foolish.”

Forgiveness of Sins through Prayer in the Communion of Saints

That brings us to the third truth of faith. The Church teaches that our prayers actually can and do help the dead if they are in purgatory, where any and all vestiges of distorted self-love are transformed into love of God. Second Maccabees tells us, very succinctly, “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they might be loosed from their sins” (2 Macc 12:45). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead” (CCC 1032). God has set up the economy of salvation so that our deeds of love offered in union with Christ’s own sacrifice may help others. Christ calls us to be co-redeemers with him. Just as his passion, death and resurrection brought salvation to the whole human race, so our deeds of love united to his, by God’s own design, can help those who have gone before us. This is one of the reasons why St. Paul could exclaim, “In my own flesh, I make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church” (Col 1:24).

The Church teaches that praying for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy, a spiritual work of loving co-redemption. And the greatest prayer of all we could offer for the dead is the prayer of the Mass, when we unite our own personal prayers — those emanating from our lips, our hearts, even our bodies in all types of actions of loving sacrifice for others — to Christ’s own prayer in the Mass, the continuous, saving sacrifice once-and-for-all begun during the Last Supper and finished on the Cross. Pope Francis said this morning in his Angelus meditation, “Church tradition has always urged prayer for the dead, in particular by offering the celebration of the Eucharist for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to the most abandoned ones. The foundation of prayers in suffrage of souls is in the communion of the Mystical Body,” and that communion is expressed most powerfully at Mass. That is why the Church has venerated for centuries the practice of praying for the dead at Mass, explicitly having Masses offered for a particular loved one as well as praying, in every Eucharistic prayer, for all those “who have gone before us with the sign of faith” (Eucharistic Prayer I), as well as “all the dead, whose faith you {God] alone have known” (Eucharistic Prayer IV). The envelopes that parishioners fill out to have Masses celebrated for their deceased loved ones throughout the month of November is a means by which we, today, continue to do so and hope that others after we’re gone will continue to do for us. I’m always moved by the devotion of some Catholics to this work of mercy and love of praying and having Masses celebrated for their deceased family members and friends. Many never let an anniversary of one’s death, or birthday, or anniversary day go by without praying at Mass for the repose of his soul. Some Catholics routinely have Masses offered for forgotten souls in Purgatory. Last year a parishioner in his will left money for 200 Masses to be celebrated for him and his deceased wife. Last month a friend from the Cape told me that his recently deceased mother had left money in her will for 200 Masses to be said for her. These are profoundly humble, Catholic and wise acts.

Spiritual Negligence in contrast to the Spiritual Work of Mercy

But I’ve also seen what I think can only be called a gross and growing spiritual negligence on the part of many other Catholics. They seem never to pray for loved ones. They sometimes don’t even have funeral Masses celebrated for them, not to mention come to Masses offered for them by family members and friends. They’re nowhere to be found — either at Church or at a cemetery — on All Souls’ Day. How does this happen and why is it becoming more common?

I think it occurs because of the popular heresy (false teaching) I mentioned before that the devil has insinuated into so many people’s heads over the last few decades. It’s the heresy called universalism or the ancient term “apocatastasis” that presumes that basically everyone and anyone who dies somehow automatically gets upgraded to heaven no matter what life they lived here on earth, no matter what choices they made. Many people today still seem to leave open the possibility that some people might go to Hell — like Judas Iscariot, Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, serial killers or public smokers — but they presume most people they know immediately take the stairway to heaven. And this false belief has serious consequences not just in how people live morally but also in terms of what they do after the death of loved ones: If we think that everyone who dies goes to a “better place,”, then there’s obviously no reason for us to pray for others after they die; if we don’t think they need help, why would we offer it? Therefore Catholics who pray for the dead would be the biggest fools of all. What we’re doing today at Mass and throughout November would be basically a big waste of time.

Not Judging, Hoping and Praying

So what is the proper attitude we should have toward the salvation of those we know who have died? The first thing is that we shouldn’t judge them. Jesus emphatically told us in the Gospel, “Do not judge” (Mt 7:1). Most of us only apply this half way, however, meaning that we shouldn’t condemn people because there’s no way we could really know all that we need to make such a judgment. With our finite capacities, we cannot know what’s really in another’s heart. A person could seem on the outside to be evil, but we don’t know what the person has suffered or the real, deep motivations for the person’s behavior. We extend funerals for those who jump off the Braga Bridge or commit suicide in other manners because we don’t know what was in the other person that led to the decision; the only time we do refuse funerals is when the person made absolutely clear that the person was doing it for reasons contrary to Catholic faith. On the other hand, Jesus tells us, we’re not to judge people to be saints in heaven either. A person might seem to be a great philanthropist, but we might not know that the person was being generous out of vainglory or with ill-gotten money. For that reason, we, as Catholics, leave all the judging to God. Except in the case of a baptized infant or a canonized saint, we cannot know for certain their eternal destiny. And because we don’t know, we hope for their salvation and we pray for their salvation.

Let’s talk about that hope, because I fear that sometimes when those who are mourning the death of loved ones hear that we can’t know for certain the outcome of their judgment, they can get very disturbed and have nightmares that their loved ones might in the eternal grip of the devil. But Christian hope is meant to console them at this time. We hear about the grounds of that hope in today’s readings. In the first reading, the Book of Wisdom tells us that the “souls of the just are in God’s hands,” and that “grace and mercy are with his only ones.” If our loved ones tried to live in a right relationship with God and with justice toward others, if they persevered in the state of grace and regularly received God’s mercy, then we have every reason to hope that they will be with God forever, if even they have to be cleansed quite a bit in Purgatory. Our hope builds with the second reading. St. Paul tells us that our “hope does not disappoint” because the love of God has been poured into our hearts, the love that led God to reconcile us to himself through his Son Jesus so that we, once reconciled, will be saved by his life. Our hope grows even more with the Responsorial Psalm, when we proclaim that the Lord is our Shepherd and with him we have it all. He is the Good Shepherd who has laid down his life for his sheep. He is the one who seeks lead us through the valley of darkness — and death is one such valley — to verdant pastures where he wishes to give us repose, spread the table of the eternal banquet before us, and fulfill our desire to dwell in the house of the Lord all our days. If our loved one were a good sheep of the Lord who heard his voice and followed him, then we have every reason to be confident that they are experiencing all that God has promised. And our hope reaches its culmination in the Gospel, wherein Jesus tells us that he came down from heaven to complete the will of the Father that he not lose anything of what the Father gave him but raise it on the last day, and that everyone who sees Jesus and believes in him will have eternal life and be raised on the last day. If our loved ones kept their eyes on Jesus, in they believed in him and put what he taught into practice, then we should have every confidence that they are with God and that if we live a similar life of justice, grace, mercy, of looking toward Jesus and following the Good Shepherd, then we, too, will live in the house of the Lord all our days and be reunited with our loved ones forever.

But what if our loved ones didn’t really live this type of life I’ve been describing? What if they didn’t seem to persevere in God’s grace and mercy, what if they were often unjust, what if they didn’t have much of a relationship with Christ as their Shepherd and give evidence that they looked toward him with faith for guidance throughout life? Should we abandon all hope? No we shouldn’t. We have to be honest that there’s no way we could have the same confidence about the eternal salvation of a person in this circumstance as we would for a person whose whole life was a living commentary of the Christian faith joyfully put into practice. But we should never lose hope. St. Paul tells us in the second reading that Christ’s mercy is greater than our misery, that his love for us is greater than our self-love. “For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person. … But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Christ died for us sinners, and if our loved ones who have died were great sinners, Christ died for them all the more. So we have great hope on Christ’s end that he would pull out all the stops to make salvation possible. But we have to pray that our loved ones responded to Christ’s merciful gift of love like the Good Thief did, rather than how the bad thief did. And if he did respond well, it’s likely that there will need to be a lot of purification involved and so we pray all the more.

Christian Grief

This prayer and hope is part of our grief. St. Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Thessalonians that we Christians grieve, but we grieve differently than the rest “who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13). We grieve because we love and we know that with the death of a loved one, life will never be the same. Grief is a sign of our love, of our missing the blessing the person was in our life and of our longing to enjoy that union again. So we Christians grieve, but we grieve with hope. We mourn differently than those pagans and atheists who think, as the fools did in the Book of Wisdom that the souls are simply “dead,” their “passing away … an affliction,” “their going forth from us utter destruction.” For them, there is no hope ever to see their loved ones again. When they lose someone tragically, how much worse is the pain, believing that no redemption is possible. Thanks be to God we Christians grieve differently! But we also grieve differently from those who have no hope because they don’t think they have to have hope, believing falsely that life in this world is inconsequential and that no matter what we do we end up in the eternal honor roll and in a “better place.” They don’t pray for loved ones because they basically believe that our life choices don’t really matter much in terms of our eternal destiny: it doesn’t matter, in other words, if we come to Mass or watch cartoons, if we confess to a priest or to a bartender, if we receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick or refuse it, if we pray or play, if we keep or break promises, if we steal or sacrifice, if we’re faithful to our spouse or cheat, if we provide for or neglect our family, if we forgive or settle scores, if we love or abuse the poor, if we teach the truth or just tell people what they want to hear, or if we welcome or abort the littlest of Jesus’ brethren. We Christians grieve differently from those who believe life doesn’t matter. We know life matters, we know our decisions matter, and we know that most of us have good days and bad days, we know we sometimes make the right choices and sometimes make the wrong choices. We know that neither we nor our loved ones live and die as the sinless Blessed Virgin Mary and for that reason we pray, but we pray with hope and confidence in the Lord’s eternal love.

I feel the need to make this point about praying for the dead even more strongly, however, following up on what Pope Benedict said earlier when he noted that it’s not “normal in human life” for someone to die with a soul “utterly pure, completely permeated by God, and thus fully open to their neighbors, people for whom communion with God even now gives direction to their entire being and whose journey towards God [in death] only brings to fulfillment what they already are.” The consequence of this is that the vast majority of people will need prayers after they die. The vast majority of us will not go immediately to heaven after judgment because we’re not living as true saints in this world but are regularly making compromises with our faith. And the vast majority of the dead will need a lot of prayers. Jesus gives a snap snot of where the vast majority of people are trending in St. Matthew’s Gospel when he says, “The door is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction and those who enter by it are many. And the door is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Mt 7:13-14). This is not necessarily, thanks be to God, a picture of the way everything ends up — because the whole mission of Christ and the Church he founded is to try to rescue people from the broad, easy, congested “highway to hell” and lead them to the narrow, uphill, way of the cross that leads to life — but it is a striking image, given to us by Jesus Himself, the Truth incarnate who cannot and will not deceive us, about the way the vast majority of people are heading. We can see Jesus’ strong words validated in the practice of the Commandments, Beatitudes and spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Far more people break the commandments than keep them; just think about how the vast majority of Catholics don’t even keep just the third commandment. Far greater numbers live contrary to the Beatitudes than according to them; how many people do you find who are poor in spirit, gentle and merciful, who mourn, whose greatest hunger is for holiness, who are pure in heart, make peace, and are persecuted for Jesus’ name? These are far fewer than those who seek after riches, power, sex, fame, and popularity. And even among those who can name the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, much bigger crowds feel tell the hungry and thirsty to get a job rather than feed them, reject undocumented immigrants rather than welcome the stranger, stare at pornography rather than clothe the naked, call for the death penalty rather than visit the imprisoned, and the plug on those who are no longer economically advantageous or abort handicapped children rather than care for the sick. Few of us will live and die as Mother Teresa’s. Few of us sadly are even trying to live and die as Mother Teresa’s. Many of us are content in being mediocre Catholics, bland “good people,” but not saints. And only saints go straight to heaven — and they’re the only ones who don’t need prayers after their death. The vast majority of people need not just some prayers but a lot of prayers and Catholics are those who ought to be on the front lines of praying without ceasing out of love for them.

Good Catholic Practices

So let’s get practical. Are we praying for the dead? Are we really carrying out with perseverance this spiritual work of mercy, as if others’ lives depended on it? Do we seek to offer Mass for those who have gone before us? Do we come to funeral Masses to pray for them, or just to “pay our respects” to them and to their family? It’s beautiful to pay respects to someone we’ve known and honor that person’s family, but we Catholics are called out of faith and love to do much more: we called to pray for the deceased and their family. Do we seek to visit people’s graves on All Souls’ Day, on Memorial Day, on the anniversaries of the day the Lord came for them? Do we come to Mass on All Souls’ Day to pray for all the faithful departed, especially when it doesn’t fall on a Sunday? Do we live the month of November as a month of praying for the dead? Do we pray the Rosary for the dead, asking Mary to pray for them at the hour of their death and for us now? Do we offer sacrifices for them and try to obtain indulgences for them?

And we should also think ahead with the same practicality. Who’s going to pray for us after we die? Have we passed on to the younger generations the example of praying for their deceased loved ones and friends? Do we take them to Masses offered for friends and family members and to the cemeteries to care for their grave and pray for them? Have we written in our will the desire for a funeral Mass and left what we can for Masses to be prayed for our salvation, so that we can count on the prayers of the Church even if our family members are not as prayerful as they should be? Are we trying to surround ourselves by prayerful friends whom we know will pray for us? These thoughts are all important thoughts. They’re holy thoughts. I remember a good priest friend telling me before he died, “Roger, please pray for me after I’m gone. Please remember me at the altar. I’m afraid that my parishioners think I’m too holy to be in need of prayers after my death. Please pray for me and please ask others to pray!” I’ve never forgotten those words.

I want to finish with a beautiful story of a little girl I met in Texas a few years ago. Her name is Caeli, which in Latin means “of Heaven.” She has suffered tremendously in her life from various serious illnesses that even the top experts at the Houston Medical Center have not be able to diagnose. She used to offer all of her pains up for the holy souls in Purgatory, so that they could get to heaven. She even planted a garden in her back yard, at 5 years old, that she called the “garden of souls,” where she would kneel to pray the prayer of St. Gertrude for the Souls in Purgatory before each plant, and there were hundreds of plants there. She invited her pastor and me to come by her home to see her “garden of souls” and pray with her and we did. I was blown away by the size of it. She would kneel before each plant and pray the prayer of St. Gertrude, the great 13th century Benedictine nun and mystic, to whom Jesus had revealed this prayer promising that every time it was devoutly said it would help 1,000 souls in Purgatory. Caeli would say the prayer at one plant and then move to the next one, continuing to pray in this way for many minutes ever day. As we observed her devotion to praying for the faithful departed, my priest friend and I looked at each other with the mutually understood glance, “Are we as spiritually merciful as this little girl?” Today is a day in which all of us in the Church are called to reflect on the spiritual work of mercy of praying for the dead and to respond to this work of mercy not by doing the minimum but by taking our faith seriously and praying for souls like little Caeli Smith, praying with faith and hope for those who lived good and holy lives, but also for those who were lost in life, who died without the comforts of the Sacraments, who may not have had adequate time fully to prepare for death, repent and make full amends with God and others. For them, I’d like all of us to pray together the Prayer of St. Gertude, a prayer that is specifically linked to the celebration of the Mass, the greatest prayer of all for the faithful departed. Please pray it devoutly with me: “Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family.”

Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen!

These were the readings of the Mass: 

Reading 1 wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Reading 2  rom 5:5-11

Brothers and sisters:
Hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Gospel jn 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
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.”