ANNIVERSARY OF ALL DECEASED BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE ORDER OF PREACHERS

Some years ago a little old lady riding a bicycle pulled up beside me as I walked along the street and she asked me if I would like a heavenly message.  She handed me a small scroll of paper on which was written the words: Do you have the confidence that comes from knowing salvation in Christ?  After meditating upon this heavenly message I came to understand that the devil would really like to see us go through life with our eyes fixed firmly on the ground, uncertain of the Father’s love for us, feeling cut off from him, and unsure of our place in his heart.  But if it is the Father’s will that everyone would see and believe in his Son, then we need never fear the final day when Christ will return to judge the living and the dead.

Thank God our salvation is determined not by how we feel but by how we have responded to what God has done for us through Christ.  After so many years of trying to be good, we may be discouraged to find ourselves still struggling against sinful patterns of behaviour that we thought we had left behind years ago.  We may feel at times spiritually dry, routinely practicing our faith but not experiencing the presence of God as we once did.  But the fact remains that through the Cross of Christ, sin and death have been defeated.  Now everyone who embraces Christ through repentance, faith, and daily obedience can trust in Our Lord’s promise of eternal life.  That is the foundation for our joy and our hope, and particularly for those of us who are Religious and have given up much for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Today as we recall the life and the witness of all those Dominicans who have died, and in particular the Sisters of our own community: Sister Ariberta, Sister Hermengild and Sister Dominic whom we have known and loved: we should take courage from their example and their perseverance as we pray for the happy repose of their souls.

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who crushed the power of sin and death by means of his Sacrifice on the Cross is with us today to lead us closer to the Father.  He gives us the grace of repentance and forgiveness today, so that we can be with him at the end of time, when all the earth will face the Final Judgment.

God fills every moment with his grace.  The eternal question is whether we are willing to respond to that grace.  Like those many Friars, Nuns and Sisters who have gone before us, will we allow God’s Holy Spirit to purify us of all that cannot stand in the light of his holiness?  Will we allow the grace of our Baptism to take deeper root in us today?  The Cross of Christ is God’s judgment on every impure, selfish, and prideful motive in the human heart.  Let us allow his Cross to continue to judge our sin, even as it comforts us with the promise of his mercy and salvation.

For our deceased Dominican brothers and sisters we pray: rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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