Through the month of November, we remember those who have gone before us: those whom we commemorate as saints in heaven, as well as all those who have passed in our own lives, praying for them and remembering that they pray for us as well. The month of November can, at times, be a bit somber or bittersweet, but this is also a time of hope. While we remember those who have gone before us, we are reminded that this life is not the end. “With the hope that God gives”, we know that this life is meaningful and yet fleeting all at once. Moving our “hearts to the love of God” we experience “the endurance of Christ.” In the memory of those of have gone before, us we have the reminder of God’s love and presence in our lives today, yet also a reminder of the reality of the life that is to come.
As we move closer to the end of the liturgical year, approaching Advent, we see that God indeed “is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” As our Savior and King, He gives us eternal hope and peace, if we but trust in the mercy and love of Christ. Yes, November can be bittersweet, but it serves as a reminder to always keep our focus on the things that really matter, and not on the distractions and pitfalls of the world. Let us then pray for our loved ones as we embrace this hope in eternal life, and become beacons of hope for all those around us as visible signs that “the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.”
For reflection: How can I be a sign of hope to others? Do I live my faith in an intentional but humble way, such as praying grace in public, or telling people that I will pray for them and following through?