Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – The Commemoration of All Souls – November 2
The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for The Commemoration of All Souls is John 6:37-40.
As He reveals the truth of the Eucharist in the Sermon of the Bread of Life, Christ first corrected the crowd’s confused view that Moses was the one who provided the manna in the desert by making it clear that God the Father is the source of the miraculous manna. Now Christ drops a bombshell, revealing that He is the bread of life and that men who believe in Him will receive eternal life.
Christ confirms that men must have faith in Him to receive eternal life and makes the existence-altering promise that those who believe in Him will be raised from death to eternal life. Christ reveals that the Father gives some men to Him (grants faith to the willing) and that Christ will not lose a soul the Father has given to Him. Christ confirms it is the Father’s will that men who believe in Christ will have eternal life and that He will raise them from the dead on the Last Day.
Building on revelation from the Old Testament (2 Mac12:42–46), the Catholic Church has always taught that men on earth (Church Militant) who pray for the dead in Purgatory (Church Suffering/Penitant) can hasten their journey through purification to Heaven. While men pray for the dead in each Mass, All Souls Day offers a special incentive (an indulgence) to pray, do good works and offer the Mass for those of the faithful departed who require additional cleansing of venial sins or atonement for past sins. An indulgence (meaning, “a kind remission”) is the partial or full remission for the temporal punishment for sins God has forgiven and may be granted to men on earth for souls still being purified in Purgatory.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ has a complete and intimate knowledge of the Father’s will. Divine King, Christ reveals His mission to draw men of good will to Himself and to not lose a single soul. Divine Prophet, Christ knows the entire scope of Salvation History, including the coming of the mysterious “Last Day.” Omnipotent and Omniscient, Christ knows how to raise men from the dead and has the power to do so.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) It is impossible to grasp the fullness Christ’s revelation that He knows the Father’s will; Christ has God’s infinite wisdom, Christ has an inerrant and intimate knowledge of what the Father desires, etc. Meditate on Christ’s infinite knowledge.
2) Rather than a vengeful God, God is merciful, allowing all who repent in Christ to eventually enter Heaven, even those who have committed heinous acts; Thanks be to God! On All Souls Day, reflect upon Purgatory (CCC 1030-1032, 1054) and the Punishments of Sin (CCC 1472-1473) and pray for Christ to help you grow in contrition and to routinely pray for the souls of the faithful departed.
3) The Church reveals that each man can be a direct blessing to the faithful departed through Indulgences (a partial or full remission of punishment of sin of a soul in Purgatory); a man can relieve the suffering of a loved one and hasten their journey to Heaven by seeking Indulgences through the Church! On All Souls Day, reflect upon God’s gracious gift to the Church of Indulgences (CCC 1471, 1474-1479, 1498) and pray for Christ to help you to understand and build a regular practice of seeking indulgences for the dead.