All Souls, Catechist

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Catechist Background and Preparation
To prepare for this session, read all the readings. (The readings given here are suggestions. Any readings from the Masses for the Dead—Lectionary #1011-1016—may be used.)
Isaiah 25:6-9
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
John 6:37-40

Spend a few minutes reflecting on what these readings mean for you today. Is there a particular reading that appeals to you? Is there a word that engages you?

Read the following Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. These give you background on this session. Read over the session outline and make it your own. Check to see what materials you will need.

Word in Liturgy
On this day we pray for the eternal happiness of all the faithful departed. We pray in the assurance that one day God will wipe away all tears and welcome us to eternity with him.

In the first reading from Isaiah, the image of the banquet is used to describe the fullness of life in God’s presence. For people of the time, the sharing of a meal together was the greatest sign of hospitality.

Today’s passage from the gospel of John offers us great comfort. Jesus assures us of our ultimate destiny of eternal happiness with God the Father, Jesus our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit—our Comforter.

Catholic Doctrine

We believe that death is not an end, but a threshold, and it is over this threshold that we pass into a life beyond this earthly existence. Heaven is the mode of existence for those who are eternally blessed. We believe that those who die in the Lord, who die in grace and friendship with God and who are perfectly purified live forever in the blessedness of the beatific vision. They see God as he is “face to face” (1 John 3:2).

We proclaim that by his saving death and resurrection Christ has won for us new life and has opened the gates of heaven for us. The beatific vision, this total and complete union with God is accomplished by Christ who makes partners in heavenly glory all those who believe in him and who have remained faithful.

This complete communion with God in heaven is a mystery that while we proclaim it defies exact description. And so, Scripture uses images to convey this mystery: life, light, peace, banquet, wedding feast, the Father’s house, and paradise. However much we grope to convey the reality of this mystery, it is beyond us, until that time when God opens up heaven to us and gives us the capacity to fully contemplate his glory. This beatific vision is the ultimate end and fulfillment of our deepest human longing and the supreme, definitive happiness.

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