Bread In The Wilderness
Father Carl Diederichs
All Saints Catholic Church

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Sunday, November 2, is the Feast of All Souls. November 1 we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. I have chosen the readings assigned for All Souls.

Our first reading is from Wisdom 3: 1-9. We know that our ancestors in the faith took hundreds of years to come to have faith in the resurrection of all people. This reading from Wisdom does show that they eventually came to believe in life after death. “The souls of the just are in the hand of God. They seems in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are at peace.”

The second reading gives us even more hope. Paul reminds us that Jesus died for us and we will be “saved by his life.”

John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus said that He came to do God’s will and that meant that Jesus was not to loose anything that God gave Him (us) and that he should raise it all (us) on the last day. “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him (us) on the last day.”

On the the Feast of All Souls, we ponder the scriptures and realize more fully that we are part of the great procession leading to eternal life. Many of our loved ones have already joined the procession and are now beyond time and space and sharing in the great banquet.

We pray in a special way for all the souls who have gone before us in faith. Sometimes we pray for them that they may be at the heavenly banquet, sometimes we pray to them for help as we struggle with life and all its ups and downs.

At All Saints, we are remembering not only our own family and friends who have gone on to glory, but we remember especially Father Augustus Tolton, the first African American ordained to the priesthood. His cause for sainthood is now in Rome. We pray here, through his intercession, for our own needs. We know that those who have gone beyond are not themselves the cause of miracles, but they are instrumental as they pray to God on our behalf.

A part of the prayer we will pray together on Sunday: “If it be your will, O God, glorify your servant, Father Tolton, by granting the favor I now request through his intercession ( mention your request) so that all may know the goodness of this priest whose memory looms large in the Church he loved.” Amen.