What we see all around us during these November days is anything but resurrection, anything but new life. We see the dying leaves falling from trees everywhere and the fading of the day-light too into what feels like one long night of winter… That’s November, the month of the Holy Souls. November, a time when the cycle of nature moves into the realm of slumber,and darkness, and decay. Stangely, the Word of God speaks to us these Sundays about light, and new life, and resurrection. The Prophet Malachi assures us today that “the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays”. Maybe that’s just what we need to hear these days…as we find ourselves once again awkwardly adjusting to November’s long dark nights…Maybe we need a flicker of light from God’s Word so as to catch a glimpse, of the way forward… “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path…” (Ps 119) Maybe we need that gentle assurance from Christ that God is the God of the living and that in God, darkness will never prevail over the light…There is always new light not too-far-off on the horizon
I remember when I was a young lad planting a line of daffodil bulbs with my brothers one autumn in our back garden. We dug holes in the ground and we placed the bulbs carefully in the holes and then we covered them in the darkness under the soil or nature to do its thing. I clearly remember deciding I’d try to defy nature with one of the bulbs. So I placed it upside down in the hole and I covered it over. And I marked the place where I had planted it by putting a stone beside it. I was convinced it couldn’t grow. But I was wrong. Because a few months later, as the daffodil shoots began to spring up and the bulb I had planted upside down began to shoot up out of the dark soil as well. The bulb had naturally turned itself around in the dark soil and the shoot made its way through the darkness up into the daylight. Its the most natural thing in the world for a shoot to find the light and to flourish.
And so it is for us too. We’re all made for the light because we’re all destined towards eternal life with God from whom we came. Its in our spiritual DNA to seek the light, because God is light, not darkness, and each and every one of us reflect his image and likeness.And while at times it may seem that everything is dark and that our lives may even seem to be plunging deeper into the darkness because of grief, or sickness, or the reality of our own mortality…. somehow, the loving hand of God is all the time at work in us, gently turning us towards back towards his light so that we can behold the light of dawn again… and we realize that Spring was never too far off on the horizon.
November is a month dedicated to prayer for the Holy Souls.Some of us are facing into November with the loss of a loved one all too fresh in our hearts. That loss can make these dark days all the more dark and dreary. But into that darkness, shines the light of Christ, risen from the the dead…and his word for us is the same today as it was for those who heard him in the Gospel. God is with us. God is God of the living. And all of us, living or dead, will find life in his loving embrace.
Prayer for the Holy Souls
“Lord, be good to them and show them all your love. Lord, be kind to them and grant them peace above. Lord, be merciful to them and wipe their sins away.Lord, be generous to them, with all my heart I pray. Lord, be gracious to them, for the good they have done. Lord, be gentle with them, for sufferings undergone.Lord, may we meet again, when heaven’s crown is won. Amen
Fr. Dwayne Gavin, Chaplain