By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley, based on Matthew 5:1-12
This past Sunday, we celebrated All Saints Day. As our prayer explained, “On this Holy Day, O Lord, we remember the faith of those who have gone before us.” I was overcome by emotion as this prayer was read, which doesn’t happen very often. I realized that I had more people to remember this year than most. I was thinking about Jim, Juanita, Bernice, and Marc, and the prayer caused me to mourn their losses all at once. I thought about them and their families and how awful death really is.
The All Saints prayer continues, We “give thanks to you for sharing their lives with us, that we might be encouraged by their example, and comforted with the knowledge of meeting them again in the Resurrection.” As I read through this prayer again, I am encouraged, and I am comforted. My losses, and I’m sure the losses of many of you, were personal and difficult, but they aren’t permanent. We will be reunited with the people we love on the Last Day.
Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The Beatitudes are not ethical demands but descriptions of blessings that we will fully enjoy in the new heaven and new earth. We can be partially comforted now by the knowledge that our loved ones are in Heaven, but we can also have hope for the future, knowing that this is not the end. We are blessed because of what God has in store for us – we will meet our loved ones again, and on that Day, we will never be separated from them again.