God created us for incorruption, and made us in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it. 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 for ever. 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.
Today is Tuesday the 12 November, in the Thirty Second Week of Ordinary Time.
Nóirín Ní Riain, with the monks of Glenstal Abbey, sings, in Irish, “Jesus is the Just One who reclaimed our souls. It was he who bought us out of slavery”. As I begin to pray today, I acknowledge that I am in his presence now, the Just One, the Holy One, the one who leads me from slavery to freedom.
Today’s reading is from the Book of Wisdom.
Today’s reading is a comforting one, reminding us of the hope which Christians have when faced with the death of a loved one – ‘the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God.’ In God’s hand nothing can harm our loved ones; they are safe and at rest. Think of the people around you. Is there anyone grieving at the moment who is not a person of faith and who is finding the death of their loved one painful? Can you hold them in this time of prayer today?
Notice the promises that are made in the reading. How do they strike you? Do they feel too good to be true? Or do you find comfort in them?
All of us have the ability to communicate the hopes of today’s reading to others. Not always in big ways, but in small gestures we can be an instrument of God in the world. How could you communicate these hopes to others?
The promises in Scripture can give us hope and comfort, but for some people, these promises do not provide that hope. As you hear the reading again, try to hold in prayer those who live a life of despair, a life without much hope.
Many people – Christian and non-Christian –face persecution because of their beliefs. Spend the last few moments of this prayer time praying for these people – asking God to support and be with them.