Dear parishioners, there are several important things to keep in our minds and hearts during this month of November.
On November 1st, we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints which helps us to contemplate with a “holy” jealousy, the happiness of those who are now enjoying Eternal Life and the Vision of God, the canonised saints and the multitude of the unknown people who have strived to live a holy life of intimate friendship with Jesus, adoring the Father and serving our neighbour.
On November 2nd, we offered Mass and prayers especially for all souls in Purgatory who are not completely purified from sin. It is an act of fraternal charity to pray for the souls of the departed and offer a Mass for them as the best gift we can grant them while we are on earth. Indeed, the only way for our soul to be purified is through the charity of Christ, the true purifying fire of his infinite love for each one of us.
Purgatory is a state of great suffering for the soul, but a suffering caused by a very intense longing to be reunited fully to God, in hope. Those souls cannot do anything for themselves any longer. Their entry into Heaven depends on God’s mercy and on our intercessory prayers of faith and hope.
We are coming to the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on November 20th when Pope Francis will close the Holy Door of St Peter’s Basilica on the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This past Sunday, our parish and Christ the King’s Parish joined for the Jubilee celebration of the passing of the Holy Door with adoration, confession and Holy Mass. Hopefully, many received a Plenary
Indulgence either for themselves or for a soul in Purgatory. For those of you who may still not have gone to pass through the Holy Door either at the Pro-Cathedral or in Akaroa for example, and meet the few conditions to receive a Plenary Indulgence, there is still time!
If we are attentive to the four Readings today, can we not discover the three aspects of the Catholic Church?: The Militant Church, the Suffering Church and the Triumphant or Glorious Church? Indeed, the seven brothers who were tortured and died rather than disobeying God hoped in the Resurrection. They are now true saints enjoying Eternal Life. “Being children of the resurrection, they are sons of God” .(Jesus)