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“Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” [1 Cor 15:20]
In the Northern Hemisphere it’s harvest time. Fall festivals abound as the fruits of the growing season – planted in the spring – are now harvested for food and the other necessities of basic living. The Church has its own “Harvest Festival” each year in the feasts of All Saints and All Souls Day as we celebrate the love of God harvesting His faithful to Him.
The Gospel of John quotes Jesus as saying: “This is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all he has given me, but raise it on the last day” (Jn 6:39). Along with the above quote from Saint Paul, these are the scriptural references that allow us to focus our celebrations later this week. God’s harvest includes those who the Church acknowledges to have led lives of heroic virtue as well as many others known only to God. It also embraces all the faithful departed – those claimed for Christ in the waters of Baptism as well as the un-baptized, “all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life,” (Eucharistic Prayer III) – as we await the Great Day of Judgement when our Lord’s Harvest will be completed.
Until that Great Day, the Church celebrates its Saints and prays for its beloved dead. Thus, November 1 and 2 are some of the most important days in our Church’s calendar. Please note the times of liturgies and the special First Friday Art Walk Concert scheduled for this week. I hope you will join us as we celebrate and remember all the members of our family of faith!