Mercy Mondays: Chaplain’s Corner – In preparation for All Saints’ Day
On Monday, Oct. 31, many around the world will celebrate Halloween. This is a time when people like to dress up and pretend to be someone else or something else. It’s a time for fun and laughter, candy and toothaches, pranks and giggles.
It can also be a time to look at ourselves and at our very own identity. We read in Matthew 16:13-16 (NLT):
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus asks the disciples about his identity and who people say that he is. There was a bit of confusion in the responses, but in the end Simon Peter gives the true answer when he said that Jesus is the Messiah.
As we think about who or what we would like to be this Halloween, let us not forget our true identity and vocation. Vatican II has affirmed that each and everyone of us has a universal call to holiness. That is to say to put on Christ each and every day. To take it one step further, to “always think mercifully” as God does.
It’s not by chance that Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day directly following the holiday of Halloween.
On Nov. 1, the Catholic church celebrates all those who make up the company of it would term the saints. These are stellar examples of ordinary people who answered the universal call to holiness in an extraordinary way. On Nov. 2, the tradition is that the church remembers all those who have gone before us. In a special way, we remember our loved ones like parents, grandparents, friends, family and more.
In keeping with the mercy tradition, the Book of the Dead will be available for all in the entryway to the chapel starting Sunday, Oct. 30. This is a place where you are invited to write the names of your beloved deceased and take a prayer card to remind you that they are being prayed for during this time.
The Book of the Dead also gives us the opportunity to answer the question Jesus asks in the Scriptures about his identity. By praying for those who have gone before us and sharing these prayers with others, we can keep the identity of Christ alive and share his mercy.
All Saints’ Day is a holy day of obligation, and Mass will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 12:30 p.m. in the chapel.
Offered by Fr. Scott Pontes, chaplain at the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.