All Souls’ Day Reflection

Written by Scott Opperman, director of Mission Integration, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s

Though human knowledge and technological abilities have expanded, our needs remain unchanged. An essential one is belonging and love. Without it, it is difficult for us to develop healthy self-esteems and to achieve our full potentials because we doubt our worth and purpose. Indeed, many of us in healthcare ministry have witnessed in those we serve the effects of social isolation and the indifference or hate of persons toward them.

The embrace and love we offer impacts others long after we die—and so does the lack thereof. Many of us realize this from our relational experiences of those who have since passed away.

Today, a significant percentage of Christians celebrate All Souls’ Day. It is a particular sacred time set aside for us to remember and to pray for all who have journeyed before us, especially our loved ones. What will we remember? Most likely, in the end, it will be the embrace and love we shared—or lack thereof. The stories we recall are usually illustrative.

If our embrace and love is that which is most tangibly real and valuable for those who survive us, does it affect our priorities and behavior in the here-and-now? Is not Trinity Health’s Living Our Values—Reverence, Commitment to Those Who Are Poor, Justice, Stewardship and Integrity—an appropriate way to corporately integrate embrace and love into our relationships with those we serve, those with whom we serve, and the community we serve? This seems worthy of our reflection and prayer today.

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