all saints, all souls, death, scripture reflection

Memento Mori | Remembering Death

32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (A)

We begin the month of November with two very special dates on the calendar. On Nov. 1 we celebrate All Saints, where we ask the saints in heaven to pray for us; then on Nov. 2 we celebrate All Souls, where we pray for the departed faithful in purgatory. Praying for the repose of the dead is something the Church asks us to be mindful of throughout the month of November.

This focus on praying for the dead also serves as a kind of annual Memento Mori (Latin for “remember death”). None of us knows when or where our death will come; we only know that it will come, and so we should always be prepared for it. That is the lesson of this Sunday’s gospel reading of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Mt 25:1-13), when the metaphor Jesus uses for our death is the coming of the bridegroom. May we live each day of our lives ever ready to for our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, to escort us to our place at the heavenly Wedding Banquet.