All Souls' Day. May Huang Na's soul rest in peace. Wisdom 3:1-9:
"... the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect."
Today's meditation from Henri Nouwen Society, based on the book, Bread for the Journey:
The Saints Who Live Short Lives
As we see so many people die at a young age, through wars, starvation, AIDS, street violence, and physical and emotional neglect, we often wonder what the value of their short lives is. It seems that their journeys have been cut off before they could reach any of their goals, realise any of their dreams, or accomplish any of their tasks. But, short as their lives may have been, they belong to that immense communion of saints, from all times and all places, who stand around the throne of the Lamb dressed in white robes proclaiming the victory of the crucified Christ (see Revelation 7:9).
The story of the innocent children murdered by King Herod in his attempt to destroy Jesus (see Matthew 2:13-18), reminds us that saintliness is not just for those who lived long and hardworking lives. These children, and many who died young, are as much witnesses to Jesus as those who accomplished heroic deeds.
[Me: What happens to non-Christians who die young? Romans 2:6-11,14 applies, i suppose?]