It is November. It is the month when we remember our dead, the dead and when we particularly pray for the souls in purgatory. It is not a gloomy month. On the contrary, for it is when we recall that this life is not the end. We are all looking forward to the resurrection! It is a month of hope! Of course every day, week and month should be one when we exercise the virtue of Hope.
“The Christian hope—said Tertullian, is the resurrection of the dead; all that we are, we are because we believe in the resurrection.” (1) Indeed, St. Paul instructs us “if our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.” (2)

“For the early church, faith in the resurrection of Jesus was the cornerstone of all their preaching and it was this that allowed a message of indestructible hope…” (3)

The Creed which we profess each Sunday, the profession of our faith in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and in God’s creative, saving, and sanctifying action – culminates in the proclamation of the resurrection of the dead on the last day and in life everlasting.” (4)

In this Sunday’s Gospel the Sadducees “those who say there is no resurrection,” (5) try to catch Jesus out by referring to a law that required that “if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother…there were seven brothers…with all seven they died leaving no children…finally the woman herself died…now at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?” (6)

A sly question indeed! Jesus replies, “And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.” (7)

So be of hope too, hope for yourself, and for all those who have gone before us. By all means place wreathes upon graves or light candles for the faithful departed while praying “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace.” While, you “united with Christ by Baptism…truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ…nourished with his Body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day we ‘also will appear with him in glory.’” (8)

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

2. 1 Cor. 15:19
4. Catechism of the Catholic Church #988
5. Lk.20:27
6. See Lk.20 verses 23-27
7. Lk.20:37-38
8. Col.3:4; CCC #1003