Monday, November 2, 2009

All Soul's Day

"Today is All Soul's Day. This is the day we remember those who have died. Our reading from Wisdom yesterday is repeated today and is worth a reflection:

But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of others they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,
because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
like gold in the furnace he tried them,
and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,
and will run like sparks through the stubble.
They will govern nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord will reign over them forever.
Those who trust in him will understand truth,
and the faithful will abide with him in love,
because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones,
and he watches over his elect. (Wisdom 3:1-9)

The notion that we are gold in a furnace should describe our life here on earth. Everyone of us is imperfect. But so is gold until it is exposed to the refiner's fire. As we are tested and tried, we come closer to perfection. A woman once asked a silversmith how long he exposed the silver to the flame and he replied, 'Until I see my image.' Likewise, God, the divine refiner, wants to see His image in each one of us. And like gold, each one of us is precious. So our trials, and especially those trials by fire, draw us closer to the image God has for us."