Reflection – Fr Tony McAleese

Reflection for November 2020
By: Fr Tony McAleese
Based on: Scripture: 1Cor 15:51-52
November can be a difficult month; with the dark mornings and early evenings.
This year, like no other in my life-time, it will be even more challenging with the
current pandemic. However, believe it or not, November is also a month of
hope.
November is the month in which we, set a-side a whole month, in which to pray
for those souls who have returned to God: with the darkening of the night
beginning from late afternoon on-ward, with the cold and wet days and
evenings, November can seem a bit morbid, so why would we choose to think
about and pray for the dead in November?
Death, sadly, has become hidden something in which we, in the Western world,
try not to talk about, instead we try to sanitise it out of our lives. Yet, death is
an inescapable part of life, and was, in the past, an integral part of family life. It
was normal for family members to die in their own homes, where the family and
community experienced death together, supported one another in their loss,
and shared the suffering of grief together. If we think to before Covid, that is
part of the experience of ‘The Wake’. However when death happens now, we
barely even say the word ‘death’, we cover it up with phrases such as, ‘they are
gone’, ‘they have passed away’, ‘they have passed over’; but as Christians, we
should not be afraid of death for as St Paul writes to the Church in Corinth and
to us in his letter:
‘Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.’ 1Cor 15:51-52
What a beautiful image of death that that gives us. Our death, to ‘die’ from the
Greek meaning to ‘fall asleep’, is an awakening into eternal life, it is living anew
in the paradise that the Lord has prepared for each of us. Therefore, in truth at
the moment of death, our life does change, but it does not end.
Therefore, let us use this month of November to pray for all who have opened
their eyes into eternal life, in that twinkling of an eye, and ask that they would
pray for us, until we are all reunited in that paradise of the Lord.
Eternal Rest Grant unto Them O Lord.