by Fr Kevin Waldie, SM
November 2: All Souls: Readings: 1. Isaiah
25:6-9; Psalm 27; 2. Romans 5:5-11; Gospel,
Matthew 11:25-30.

This special day of Catholic remembrance is greatly assisted by these readings. In them we have words that offer encouragement for the journey of life.
Isaiah, being particularly conscious of the difficulties God’s people had to face, provides what could be called a very early version of the Good News. He supplies an outlook on life that takes its inspiration from a grand feast and the mood it creates.
That association of ideas is reason to ponder the large picture of God’s eternal plan.
From the festal table therefore comes new life and refreshment for whatever lies ahead. And seeing God as the feast’s host, rightly hails his good wishes for his people. That, in turn, naturally helps us look beyond any present sadness or suffering to a future life of blissful existence.
Similarly, Paul’s passage from Romans first links hope with love and then proceeds to expand on that idea. He does so by reflecting on the life we receive when God visits us, most especially in the moment of Christ’s death. For Paul, this is cause to be uplifted in mind and body.
This stirs us to live in expectation of what God has ultimately prepared for us.
Matthew completes our biblical reflection with words from Jesus himself. They zero in on God’s mercy, in the person of the Lord drawing people to himself for the purpose of offering them refreshment and peace. His speech is thus an encouragement to turn and be embraced by the love
of God. Journeying with him may have its challenges, but arriving at the journey’s end reveals its rewards.
Today’s biblical texts give a sure sense of life’s final destination. They advance that hopeful outlook every Catholic is to proclaim. And so we pray that it will lead us all to eternal rest.