Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. — Hebrews 12:1-2
Let us consider the great cloud of witnesses of old and among in this day and age. Their heroism, endurance, holiness, love of their brothers and sisters, the crosses they bore, the example they provide are not accomplished on their own. Rather, through the grace of God they have been strengthened to do what Jesus asks of all of us. Let us heed their example, knowing that for every failing in our lives, God picks us up, renews us, and enables us to be saints.
Let us also recall that our brothers and sisters who have preceded us in Holy Death are a hopeful sign. Jesus overcame death; so shall we because of our faith in Him. He told us that we who weep and mourn will be comforted. Be comforted in His promise of eternal life. With that confidence, offer up prayers for our friends, family, neighbors, and parishioners who have died. With our prayer, their journey to the heavenly kingdom is eased and their souls are made strong. With our help, they will attain the new and heavenly Jerusalem. There we will stand with them, also among the multitude of angels, saints, elders, and faithful worshiping before the throne of God and the Lamb. The family of faith is eternal, we are all joined together, here and now and forever with God.