HAPPY VETERANS DAY! God bless all of the brave men and women who have defended our country throughout history. We are grateful for the sacrifices they have made to keep us safe.

On this Veteran’s Day, let us honor and remember all those who serve or have served in our military. Let is realize that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women in the military who work to promote peace and justice across the world. Let us salute their dedication and determination to protect all God’s people. Let our thoughts be with the families of those who have lost their lives and let us pray for the continued safety of all our military personnel.

Month of November is dedicated to those who have died. With faith and hope we pray for our departed loved ones, the faithful departed, as well as the departed forgotten ones. In the mystery of life and death, we commend the departed into the hands of God as we remember them in prayer. And the God of love, who is the God of the living, will grant eternal rest to those who put their hope and trust in Him.

Human beings have always believed in some kind of life after death, in Sheol or Hades in some dark lifeless kind of existence for everyone. There may be no grounds for this belief except that we can’t see how everything just finishes when we die. The Jews gradually thought differently. They believed in God., who was faithful to his promises as they saw in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and throughout their history and particularly in Moses and the Promised Land. In the persecutions some 160 years before Christ as we read in today’s first reading many Jews heroically died for their God.

Is man more faithful than God? God, the faithful God of the Covenant, would not abandon those of his people who had sacrificed everything for him. And so, the belief in the resurrection arose. God would give life to his faithful people. They didn’t think in terms of soul but in terms of the person. The person would live.

The questioners of Jesus tried to ridicule this idea. It would be convenient if the life ‘in the land of the spirits’ is more or less the same for all. We can make the most of this life in every way we can. But Jesus talks of those ‘who are judged worthy of a place in the resurrection’. Our God is a faithful God. Furthermore, Jesus has revealed that God is a loving Father who longs for his children and their happiness.

Since God’s love is so superior to ours, God willed to become like one of us to show us what we needed to do in order to live eternally. When we place our love in Jesus Christ, we place our life in Him. A spray of grapes united and joined to the stock brings forth fruit by virtue of the stock onto which it is grafted. So likewise, our life in Christ vivifies and animates us with heavenly love. Through the sacred love that the Holy Spirit steeps in our hearts, we produce sacred actions that carry us toward immortal glory.

For those who love him ‘no eye has seen, no ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to imagine what God has prepared’. However, we know that those who live in Jesus now will become like him. The Risen Christ is our hope and expectation. He is the first fruits of the dead.

Do you meet the Risen Christ in your prayer? Seeing him are you filled with joy and hope?