For years I have been known by my nieces and nephews by a particular title. It’s not Father or Padre, but the “World’s Smartest Man.” When we used to play Trivial Pursuit I would always make up great answers which sounded logical to small children. I told them that the answer was correct because I was the world’s smartest man. They were just too young to Google the right answer.
I do get asked some interesting questions, especially from children. The question asked this week that caught my attention was, “Why do we pray and have Masses for people who have died?” It makes us question the feast day last week, All Souls Day.
Why do we celebrate, as a Church, the memories and lives of those who have died? Do such celebrations have an effect on our loved ones in the afterlife? These kids ask tough questions. Maybe I’m not the world’s smartest man!
I may not know how our prayers affect those who have died, but I do know that our prayers affirm our faith, hope and love. We place our loved ones in the loving arms of our God. We trust in faith the promises of our Savior. We have hope that they are in peace and that one day we will join them as they behold our Heavenly Father’s face. In our celebrations, we remember in love and pledge our love to last to eternity. We come to the Almighty and everlasting to give an eternal reward of peace to our loved ones. We may not know how our prayers affect those who have died, but we do know that our trust in the Lord is strengthened and nourished. We celebrate the Communion of Saints and, by praying, come closer to the Communion of Saints, ourselves. These celebrations and prayers have an effect in our lives. We are comforted and brought to peace.
I may not be the world’s smartest man, but I sure feel better knowing and celebrating that my parents are with God today. Fr. Mark