News & Events
Nov 7, 2014
We Remember ...
Dear People of God,
The month of November, when the darkness of night and gray skies increase, we remember the causes of deep darkness in our history as nations of the earth. We also remember our own personal darkness through the death of our loved ones.
November 11, "Remembrance Day" is noticed collectively by the red poppies worn by almost everyone, and a few of us will gather for solemn ceremonies to pay tribute to the men and women who have died in wars, near and far.
Also in November the Church in a particular way prays for the souls of the faithful departed. Many of us will visit the graves of loved ones, attend a Memorial Mass and perhaps even have a meal of remembrance with family.
Yes, death in its normal interplay with all of life, maintains for everyone personally and collectively an experience of loss and the resulting layers of grief in our hearts and feelings of abandonment. None of us is alone in this experience, even the Lord Jesus was not preserved from the anguish of losing a loved one cf. (Jn.
II :33-36), nor the fateful emotion of abandonment while in his own agony on the cross cf. (Mt. 27:46). November brings all of us face to face with the "dis-ease" caused by loss and the resulting loss of peace. This year there is a heightened awareness and cry for peace in our world, in our own country and certainly in our own souls. The deployment of large armed forces on three continents sends shock waves through the human family and smaller deployments of armed forces on all the other continents seems almost routine, in the human desire for security.
The month of All Souls and Remembrance Day is indeed a time to consider the "dis-ease", that robs the world of peace and the "dis-ease" that robs our own hearts of peace. November is the month of remembering and perhaps for each of us a time of renewed longing and personal commitment to the small and large ways that we can work for peace. This may involve accompanying someone who is grieving by offering a listening heart, mending and healing a relationship with a family member or neighbour, being the heart and hands of outreach to the poor of our neighbourhood, or developing a deeper involvement and solidarity with organizations promoting peace through dialogue and development.
It is so very beautiful and hopeful that this month begins with the feast of the glory of "All Saints" who have shown us a way forward to peace and a real security. The month ends with the beginning of the Advent season, a season of hope when the whole People of God remembers Emmanuel "God with us" and cries out in a communion of heart, mind and soul, "Come Lord Jesus, Come".
Let us remember, lest we forget, and may our prayers and actions become even more fervent for the cry of the poor.
Bishop Gary Gordon