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The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. — Psalm 23:1
Mass Readings: Wisdom 3:1-9 / Romans 5:5-11 or 6:3-9 / John 6:37-40
The wonderful Wisdom reading for today’s All Soul’s liturgy is “painfully” familiar. We often hear it at funerals. Though my mother was elderly, in pain, and “ready to go,” her death was still agonizing for us. As the Wisdom writer says, her passing felt like “an affliction,” and “utter destruction.” A recent New York Times bestselling book, Heaven is for Real, by Protestant minister Todd Burpo beautifully echoes the spirit of today’s readings.
It’s a sweet but amazing story of the author’s son, 4-year-old Colton who came close to death — and heaven? — following a burst appendix. Months after the crisis, little Colton spontaneously reported “meeting” his great-grandfather and a sister he’d never heard about who’d died before she was born. He also talked about hearing angels sing to him when he was alone and afraid.
Prayer: God, thank You for assuring us that the faithful departed are in peace with You.
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