In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

29th October 2023. Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. ON MY FUNERAL DAY, WHAT’LL BE ON MY MEMORY TABLE?

In today’s Gospel (Matt 22:34-40), Jesus teaches us that true love has two dimensions. Love for God and love for our neighbour. One cannot exist without the other. Unless divine love feeds our love for each other, then it can become abusive, distorted, lustful and limited. God is Love, so the greatest and most important commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind and to love our neighbour as our self. These commandments must be practiced now, if we want to live in Heaven someday. Christian life must have love as its principle, beginning with God. If we refuse to love our neighbour, then we refuse to love God. To love Him is best expressed in a daily prayer life, particularly going to Sunday Mass and Confession. Love for neighbour is expressed in brotherly and sisterly charity. If our lifestyle on earth does not include Jesus, then we are denying ourselves access into Heaven someday. That’s the Gospel Truth. Let us ponder on our own funeral day. What will the family place on my memory table? Will it be a Prayer Book, a Rosary Bead, a picture of Jesus or Mary? Or will it be a betting slip, a football jersey, a television remote control, a phone, a bingo card or fashion items etc? There is nothing wrong enjoying these hobbies, but they should be accompanied with the things that resemble our faith and our love of God and not all about self.
We must not allow ourselves to be enslaved by the idols of this world. If we love ourselves or sports or family or money more than God, then we are making idols of them and ourselves. St. Paul reminds us that as Christians (1 Thess 1:5-10), we broke with idolatry. Disorderly love promotes our ego, pride and selfishness, which are the roots of all sin and prevents direct access into Heaven. To convince ourselves that everybody goes to Heaven, regardless how they lived their lives, is making false prophets and gods of ourselves. We must always pray for our dead in case they are still on the journey to Heaven. The Truth is, that they are probably being held in the prison of Purgatory, to serve time as a punishment, for not loving God when they lived on earth. Average sentence can be 40 years and more for some souls. Our vital prayers can reduce their sentence and even release them into Heaven. November is devoted to the Suffering imprisoned Souls in Purgatory. Earthly life is a time given to us by God, to live by His Commandments on earth, because they are the Law of the land in Heaven. God bless, Fr. Brendan.