Reflection for All Souls Day – Years A B and C 2nd November

A woman from Galilee talks about Jesus.

I loved him, you know, I really loved him.
I still do, of course, but in a different way.
And it still hurts:  that pain of grief and despair,
that numbness of shock and horror.
Sometimes that awful day of pain and death seems like only yesterday.
And sometimes it seems such a long time ago
because life is very different now and I’ve learned so much.

The mystery about time and space:
we live here on earth restricted by their limitations
and we’re powerless to change them.
But somehow he did, even before his death.
Something about him was not anchored in this world.

“Before Abraham was,” he said, “I am”
It caused an uproar at the time but it’s true:
he is – he was then and he always will be.

But I miss him so much:
his beautiful clear eyes;
his smile that lit up his face;
his laugh, infectious and joyful;
his voice – I think I miss his voice more than anything.
My memory hears him say my name with loving tenderness
and I can feel his hand on my shoulder.

I can see in your eyes that you too have lost someone dear to you.
We share that ache of longing and deep sadness
that time doesn’t fully heal
and we know that grieving can be frightening and very lonely.

But, you know, his dying was not the end of his story:
he did truly break out of the constraints of time and space.

We saw him, talked with him, ate with him, laughed and cried
with a Jesus who was even more fully Jesus than he was before.
And he reminded us time and again of his promise to us:
“You will always be where I am”

Even now, this evening, we are where he is
and where he is so too are the others who we say have passed away.

They haven’t – passed away I mean.
What have passed away, for them, are pain and grief.
They have no more sorrow and they no longer weep.
God has dried their tears and restored them.
And because they are where he is they are also where we are.

It’s time and space that keep us apart
and it’s only the splendour of light that hides them from us.

They are in the eternal, nearer presence of God who is Love
and, you know, nothing can separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.