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The late Pope Benedict XVI said: ‘Dear friends, the Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed tell us that only those who can recognise a great hope in death, can live a life based on hope. If we reduce man exclusively to his horizontal dimension, to that which can be perceived empirically, life itself loses its profound meaning. Man needs eternity for every other hope is too brief, too limited for him. Man can be explained only if there is a Love which overcomes every isolation, even that of death, in a totality which also transcends time and space. Man can be explained, he finds his deepest meaning, only if there is God. And we know that God left his distance for us and made himself close. He entered into our life and tells us: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die”.

As we remember our own loved ones who have gone before, let us hold fast to our hope, that hope which is ‘the anchor of the soul’, the hope of eternal life. May God bless you this day.