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Friday, November 2, 2007

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All Souls

2 Maccabees 12:43-46
1 Corinthians 15:51-57
Psalm 23
John 11:17-27

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proclaiming the resurrection

"He acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view." —2 Maccabees 12:43

To pray for the dead is "a holy and pious thought," not only to hasten their entry into heaven, but especially to express our faith in the resurrection (2 Mc 12:45). The resurrection is the essence of Christianity. "If there is no resurrection of the dead, Christ Himself has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is void of content and your faith is empty too" (1 Cor 15:13-14).

Satan has bribed people to lie about Jesus' resurrection (Mt 28:12). He's recruited religious leaders to cast doubts on the resurrection by asking "nonsensical" questions about it (see Lk 20:33; 1 Cor 15:35-36). Satan confused the Corinthians (1 Cor 15:12), Thessalonians (1 Thes 4:13), and Ephesians about the resurrection (2 Tm 2:18). Amid this demonic whirlwind of confusion, the Lord raises up people to make clear and practical expressions of their faith in the resurrection. When we pray for the "poor souls," we clearly show that they have risen. When we ask the saints who have died to pray for us, they must be risen. When we celebrate Sunday, the Resurrection Day, as the first day of the week and the center of our lives, we proclaim the resurrection. When we don't work or shop on Sunday, we are proclaiming the resurrection with power (see Acts 4:33). When we focus our year on the fifty-day Easter celebration, we profess our faith in Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).

Prayer:  Lord, may my celebrations of All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, Sundays, saints' days, and the Easter season show that I believe You are risen from the dead (see Rm 10:9).

Promise:  "Death is swallowed up in victory." —1 Cor 15:54

Praise:  Twenty-five years after her mother's death, Georgia still has Masses celebrated for her.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007

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