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By Jude-Mary Owoh
Fri, 02 Nov 2018

‘God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust.’ – Wisdom 3:5,6

The Catholic teaching on Purgatory hinges on our hope in the resurrection of the dead. Just as Christ died and rose from the dead, so too all those who die in his friendship shall rise to life with Him. To rise to eternal life with Christ means that you are friends with God. Christ has a mandate to bring all God’s friends into His kingdom (Jn 6:39). Hell is the unapologetical destination for all those who die in enmity with God. But things are not always clear-cut, some live all their lives in enmity with God but reconcile with God at the hour of death and receive forgiveness. Some others live all their lives in friendship with God and they sleep in His peace but with the guilt of lesser sins (see 1Jn 5:16,17) or sins not properly atoned for. They are friends of God but they still need perfecting before they are admitted into heaven because nothing impure will enter God’s presence (Rev 21:27).

The process of purgation should give you hope of entering heaven because it is prideful and presumptuous to think that you can enter heaven with the filth of your righteousness (Isa 64:6). It will be nothing short of despair to also presume that we can never enter heaven since we fall in and out of sin. We must do our part and commend ourselves to God’s mercy. We must also pray for one another and encourage one another to strive after righteousness. We can also pray for our brothers and sisters who, although friends of God, are still undergoing the purification needed to see God’s face (Wis 3:5). Our prayer for them is effective because we are all connected in the body of Christ (1Cor 12).

Eternal Father, I offer you the Most Precious Blood of your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, those in the Universal Church, in my home, and within my family. Amen.

Wisdom 3:1-9; Psalm 23:1-6; Romans 5:5-11; Mark 15:33-39,16:1-6


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