The WORD in Other Words by Fr Emil Lim SVD (Philippines) All Souls Days
In one gospel episode, the apostles thought Jesus was a ghost when they saw Him walking on the water. They saw a feat defying the limitations of any physical man, so they judged that they were witnessing the fearful sight of a human soul separated from its body—a spirit, or a ghost.
Saint Thomas Aquinas is notable for recounting a visit from the soul of Bro. Romanus and for writing in his Summa Theologica why God would allow a soul to visit the living: first, as a warning; and second, to seek spiritual assistance in the form of prayer for the departed souls.
Our commemoration of All Souls day should inspire us to pray for those souls who have gone ahead of us, and also to seek their help and prayers for ourselves.
Today‘s gospel is very encouraging and truly good news to us mortals. We learn from Jesus own reassurance that God never wishes any soul to be lost, rejected or damned. Unless, of course, if one wants to, by his own free will and way of life. We also learn why Jesus came to die and rise from the dead was to impart the promise of the resurrection to us who have come to believe in Jesus.
Our real destiny is Eternal Life — to live in the presence of God forever. That is where the good souls (saints) are supposed to be.
While remembering the dead in November, we also pray for the poor souls. One beautiful and easy to remember prayer comes from St. Gertrude the Great. In doing so, the poor souls become our friends. In times of need, therefore, they can be called upon to help in moments when, for example, we are afraid of ghosts.