Homily — Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
Holy Cross Cemetery
Culver City, California
November 2, 2020
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This year, as we know, we celebrate the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, as we are still living this challenging time of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This morning, as we remember our own loved ones, we also open our hearts to our brothers and sisters who are mourning all over the world, in every continent and in every country.
We pray for all the faithful departed. We pray for their souls, may God grant them rest in peace and let his light shine upon them. We pray today for their families and loved ones. May God be with them and grant them peace.
Hoy en la conmemoración de los fieles difuntos al recordar a nuestros seres queridos, tenemos en nuestras intenciones también a todos nuestros hermanos y hermanas que han fallecido a consecuencia de la pandemia del coronavirus, Descansen en Paz y pedimos para que Dios Nuestro Señor consuele y les conceda la paz a sus familias.
But today, my dear brothers and sisters, we know that our Redeemer lives!
Our Lord tells us this morning in the Gospel:
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”
God never wanted us to die. We know this! Our is not God of the dead, but of the living! In the beginning, he created us for life and life abundant!
Death only entered our world through our sin. But even then, God does not let death have the final word in anyone’s life.
Jesus Christ offered up his life on the cross for you for every person. If we believe in Jesus Christ — if we believe in his power, if we believe in his love — we will rise! And our loved ones will rise!
And in this moment, we need to hear this: All those who have been struck down in this pandemic, this plague — they will rise, too!
St. Paul says today in that second reading: “We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.”
This is the truth and the joy of the resurrection: Jesus dies, and behold he is alive!
This is our hope. And our hope will never disappoint us. Because our hope is in Jesus Christ, who has conquered sin and destroyed death.
His love is stronger than death!
En este tiempo difícil, mis queridos hermanos y hermanas, ¡nosotros sabemos que nuestro Redentor está vivo!
Dios no permite que la muerte tenga la última palabra en la vida de nadie. Jesucristo ofreció su vida en la cruz por ustedes, por mí y por todas y cada una de las personas. Él murió para que nosotros no tuviéramos que morir.
Si creemos en Jesucristo, si creemos en su poder, si creemos en su amor, ¡resucitaremos! ¡Y nuestros seres queridos también resucitarán!
And, in this moment, I think that the Church has a special duty to bear witness to this hope that has been entrusted to us.
St. Paul used to say, let us weep with those who are weeping. This is our special calling — as Catholics, as the Church — in this time of the coronavirus. We need to stand with those who are grieving.
It is not only to the families of those who have died. There are so many of our brothers and sisters are weeping these days. People are devastated, their lives turned around and upside down. We need to comfort them, listen to them in their anguish.
In this time of darkness, we need to bring light! In this time of death and sorrow, the Church is called to proclaim life, and joy everlasting.
En este momento tan difícil que estamos viviendo creo que la Iglesia tiene el especial deber de dar testimonio de esta esperanza que se nos ha confiado. En este tiempo de oscuridad, ¡necesitamos traer la luz! En este tiempo de muerte y de aflicción la Iglesia está llamada a anunciar la vida y la alegría eternas.
The dead here have fallen asleep. But we know that these graves cannot hold them. The dead here are waiting for the Lord to call them. They are waiting to be awakened from their sleep, to be raised from their graves!
And in this time of the coronavirus, I believe that especially our Catholic cemeteries has a special mission.
From this holy ground where our dead await their resurrection, we need to go forth and proclaim the Gospel of life!
The Catholic cemetery is a place of peace. Here we know, that consoling truth from today’s first reading, from the Book of Wisdom.
The souls of the just are in the hand of God …
They are in peace. … their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself. …
In the time of their visitation they shall shine!
The great truth that the Church must proclaim in this moment is that our Redeemer lives! We need to bring this good news to the world.
We need to help people around us to trust that God is good and that he goes with us. Today we prayed the beautiful 23rd Psalm. And it is true — God goes with us in this darkness. Even if we cannot see him, he is guiding us, and he will deliver us.
So let us ask for that grace today, to stay close to Jesus, to know that — “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want… Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil, for you are at my side.”
En estos tiempos y siempre necesitamos ayudarnos unos a otros a confiar en que Dios es bueno y que Él nos acompaña en el camino.
Hoy rezamos el hermoso Salmo 23. Y es verdad, Dios va con nosotros en medio de esta oscuridad. Aun si no podemos verlo, él nos está guiando y nos liberará.
Pidámosle, pues, esa gracia el día de hoy, la gracia de permanecer cerca de Jesús, de saber que: “El Señor es mi Pastor, nada me faltara. … Aunque camine por cañadas oscuras, nada temo, porque tú estás conmigo”.
Someday, brothers and sisters, these tombs will all be empty! This the promise that we hold in our hearts, the truth that was given to us by Jesus Christ.
Let us walk with confidence in this promise, with joy! Our eyes fixed on Jesus, on heaven. And let us invite our brothers and sisters to walk with us. That they might know the love of Jesus, who gave his life that we might live!
And let us ask Mary our Blessed Mother to keep us close in her Immaculate Heart. May she pray for us “now, and at the hour of our death.” And may she lead us to know Jesus and the joy of his Resurrection!
Wisd. 3:1–9; Ps. 23; Rom. 5:5–11; John 6:37–40.
Matt. 22:32; Acts 3:15; John 10:10.
Wis. 1:13; Rom. 5:12; 6:23.
Rev. 1:18; 2:8.
Rom. 5:5; Song 8:6; 1 Cor. 15:26.
Luke 11:11. 43.