- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

November 2, 2017

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

30th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 3: 1 – 9; 2 Corinthians 5: 1, 6 – 10; John 11: 17 – 27

It seems rather clear that Martha was put out with Jesus’ arrival after Lazarus’ death: “If you had been here…” and then she adds: “I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” One can only wonder what the tone of her voice was. Jesus not affected by her frustration finds the opportunity to reveal His divine mystery: “I am the resurrection and the life” – Jesus “THE I AM” – the Eternal One and His very person is Resurrection and Life – not something He does but who He is.

By our Baptism – a simple rite of water and word – we are taken into Christ in a union, a relationship that will never be terminated as far as our God is concerned. Of course, one might live in a way that is totally ignorant, completely non-responding to this grace but the sacramental character marking our souls remains. We are always son…daughter in Christ.

Because of our Baptism into Christ, we are in the One who is Resurrection and Life – this is the mysterious reality of our lives – therefore Resurrection has already begun for us and Life is flowing into us, sustaining us at every moment.

Today we commemorate all the departed – often called “The Poor Souls” – actually, there are not poor at all – exceedingly rich because they are assured of the fullness of Eternal Life – the life that demands total purity of heart and for that they are purged, cleans of all taint of sin in any form – as someone has put it – they are adjusting to the full light and total love that is our God.

Since God is light, then death itself must be full of splendor – a splendor surely so overwhelming, so penetrating, so bright for one’s eyes to receive all at once – could this not be the pain, the suffering of purgatory – coming to be fully present before the Face of God?

We pray for those in this process – a process not of punishment rather of resurrection, of coming into the glory of God – the glory that exceeds our words, our ideas, our imagination. We also pray for one another because one day this will be our own most personal experience and most sacred grace.