Commemoration of
All the Faithful Departed


“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.” (Wisdom 3:1.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“To say that God remembers is to say that he acts. Conversely, to say that he forgets is to say that he does not act: not because there is forgetfulness in God (given that he never changes) or remembrance (given that he never forgets). For those, then, who did not know what they were doing, “I have become like a man without support,” when I was “free among the dead.” And for those who did not know what they were doing, I have become “like the slain who sleep in the grave. And they are cast away from your hand.” That is, when they reduced me to such a condition, “they were cast away from your hand.” They thought I was a man without support; rather, it was they who were without the support of your hand. In fact, as it says in another psalm, “they dug a ditch before me, but they fell in it themselves.” I think that the words “and I have been cast away from your hand” are best interpreted in this way, rather than referring to those who sleep in the grave, whom God does not remember. In fact, there are some righteous people among these latter, of whom it is true that he has not remembered them yet, so as to raise them. Nevertheless, of these it is also said, “The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God.” That is, they enjoy the support of the Most High, and they dwell in the protection of the God of heaven. As for the others, however, they were cast away from the hand of God, since they thought that the Lord Jesus Christ was rejected by his hand, so much so that they could number him among the evildoers and kill him.” (Expostions of the Psalms, 87.)


Collect
Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord,
and, as our faith in your Son,
raised from the dead, is deepened,
so may our hope of resurrection
for your departed servants
also find new strength.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen


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