Every year, as we pray for our deceased Dominican brothers and sisters, we come to understand the reality of our salvation. In baptism our old life was buried with Christ, and we have risen with him into a whole new life. We know that God doesn’t want to lose anyone. But does this mean that now we have been baptised we can sin all we want because God will save us anyway? Of course not. God hasn’t withdrawn his Commandments. Common sense tells us, as do the Scriptures, that baptism must be accompanied by belief, repentance, good works and conversion of life.
Today God wants his love to so pierce our hearts that we would never want to offend him or hurt anyone else. As we come to understand that we were lost in sin and that Christ offered himself up for us, we will want to imitate him. God’s love for us will move us to purify ourselves of every vestige of sin, and every attitude that resists his words and his ways. If we do this then our outlook on life will change, and we will become more and more like Christ.
God calls us to perfection—right here and now—he wants us to receive all the gifts he wants to give us. He wants to empower us to build his Kingdom and to spread his Gospel. By the power of his grace we can change not only ourselves, but the world; if only we put our hearts into it.
Today we recall the lives and the witness of those Dominican Brothers and Sisters who have died; and especially the Sisters of our own community: Sister Dominic, Sister Ariberta and Sister Hermengild. And we should take courage from their example and their perseverance as we pray today 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, so that we can be with him at the end of time, when all the earth will face final judgement.
God fills every moment with his grace. And the question, as always, is whether we are willing to respond to God’s grace, a grace freely extended to all. Like those Dominican Brothers and Sisters who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, will we allow God’s Holy Spirit to purify us? Will we allow the grace of our baptism and our religious profession to take deeper root in us today? The Cross of Christ is God’s judgement 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.
Eternal rest grant unto our deceased Dominican Brothers and Sisters, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the Faithful Departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.