The secular world has affected our religious observations.
Catholics now equate Christmas as mere “gift-giving” (though nothing wrong there) and youngsters expect Santa Claus more than Jesus.Halloween night on October 31 is observed with devilish masks and outfits when it is the evening where, supposedly, the little angels -angelitos- including our child relatives dying before the age of innocence- visit us.
Hallow-in fact means “holy”- and een (evening).So why do we scare ourselves to death on Halloween? We even joke that “we must visit the dead or the dead will visit us.” That’s why Cardinal Chito Tagle warned us last Friday not to treat it as a costume party, although admittedly some folks around do not need masks to scare us.
Sound electronic systems have been banned from these burial places ,otherwise even the dead might hip hop and tango to the sound of loud music.
Todos los muertes - Day of the Dead- All Souls Day, we celebrate today is observed with tradition by Catholics, whose relatives have a big reunion day with festive food to visit their dearly departed. They refurbish the graves or repaint them white from dust and being weather-beaten – which is fine.
People live and die, regardless. Some go ahead of others- but there will be a final reunion, many wishing this not be soon enough. But the true essence of All Souls Day for Christians, lest we forget, is to be reminded about the immortality of man’s soul.
And this belief in the “forever”can only find meaning if we believe in an Eternal God.He has been there from the beginning of times-until forever. In fact He has no beginning, no end- He is the Alpha and the Omega.
The true meaning of All Souls Day is the renewed belief that while we honor the mortal endings of friends and relatives- we rejoice in the existence of an after-life. Not imbibing that belief would make all our earthly days restless; to do- so results in calmness all the days of our earthly lives.
We have heard of people in near-death situations -seeing and hearing the wondrous existence of a Heaven – for us to suspend our belief in the life ever after. Secular life has “triumphantly” even given birth to a trillion dollar wellness and longevity (how to live longer) industry. But no matter how Science tries to defy Nature placed by God- all, and everyone, will die someday.
As an indictment to us all ,we all profess to be wanting to see God, but no one of us really wants to die -that is why we take prescription and maintenance medicines. But, perhaps, that is human nature- that is why it is not called- divine.
Christ’s own resurrection and His own Ascension proved the indestructibility of the soul.
In observing today’s Commemoration of All Faithful Departed- let us not only pray for and seek intercession from our departed loved ones -but let us also meditate on our own souls. Before we dream of playing card games and exchange fun with them in Heaven , we must make sure we are all journeying to their same direction by taking care of our souls. All Souls Day, therefore, – is for all of us with souls. Shalom!