All Souls – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Isaiah 25:6-9, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, John 5:24-27

Today we celebrate All Souls. This feast was added in the tenth century to remember all the dead, not simply those deemed notable saints down the centuries, and to particularly remember deceased family and friends.

We remember the dead with thanksgiving: for how they touched us, for who they were and are to and for us, for relationship, influence, nurture, and the gift of their life. These “whom we love but see no longer.”[i]

We remember the dead with confidence. As in the Letter to the Thessalonians: We do “not grieve as others do who have no hope.    For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.” And from Isaiah, God will “swallow up death forever. … and wipe away tears from all faces.”

We remember the dead with expectation. Today’s gospel says: “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” We each die broken and incomplete. We need and receive more beyond the grave. The dead will live, not simply awake but continue to grow and heal. Read More

In Blessed Hope – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke DitewigAll Souls Day

Isaiah 25:6-9, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, John 5:24-27

Today is the third of a trio: Halloween, All Saints and All Souls. We transferred two of them, celebrating All Saints on Sunday and now All Souls today. These three ground us in mortality and in blessed hope as we remember the dead.

All Saints Day began in the sixth century to remember the life and witness of hundreds of Christians who were killed for their faith during the first three centuries of the Church. Halloween—Hallow’s Eve—is the evening before All Hallows Day, meaning “holy” or “saint” which we now call All Saints Day. Read More