All Souls’ Day, 2 November (Year B)
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: Violet or Black.
(The following psalms and readings are selected from the many options for this day.)
First Reading: Wisdom 3:1-9
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God
The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them.
In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster,
their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace.
If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality;
slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be.
God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him;
he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust.
When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out;
as sparks run through the stubble, so will they.
They shall judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king for ever.
They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love;
for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.
Alternative First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9
The Lord will prepare a banquet for every nation
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food.
On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever.
The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek;
he will take away his people’s shame everywhere on earth,
for the Lord has said so.
That day, it will be said: See, this is our God in whom we hoped for salvation;
the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.
We exult and we rejoice that he has saved us.
Alternative Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 26(27):1,4,7,8-9,13-14
Second Reading: Romans 5:5-11
Now we have been reconciled by the death of his Son, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son
Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.
Alternative Second Reading: Romans 5:17-21
However great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater
If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of failing, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alternative Second Reading: Romans 8:14-23
The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God
Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.
I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free.
Alternative Second Reading: Romans 8:31-35,37-39
God did not spare his own Son
With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.
Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Alternative Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
Death is swallowed up in victory
I will tell you something that has been secret: that we are not all going to die, but that we shall all be changed. This will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishably, and we shall be changed as well, because our present perishable nature must put on imperishability and this mortal nature must put on immortality.
When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Alternative Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:14-5:1
We are being trained to carry the weight of eternal glory
He who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us. You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be, to the glory of God.
That is why there is no weakening on our part, and instead, though this outer man of ours may be falling into decay, the inner man is renewed day by day. Yes, the troubles which are soon over, though they weigh little, train us for the carrying of a weight of eternal glory which is out of all proportion to them. And so we have no eyes for things that are visible, but only for things that are invisible; for visible things last only for a time, and the invisible things are eternal.
For we know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.
Alternative Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1,6-10
We want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord
We know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.
We are always full of confidence, then, when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight – we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord. Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him. For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.
Alternative Second Reading: Philippians 3:20-21
Christ will transfigure our bodies into copies of his glorious body
For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.
Alternative Second Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
If we hold firm then we shall reign with Christ
Remember the Good News that I carry, ‘Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David’; it is on account of this that I have my own hardships to bear, even to being chained like a criminal – but they cannot chain up God’s news. So I bear it all for the sake of those who are chosen, so that in the end they may have the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that comes with it.
Here is a saying that you can rely on:
If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.
If we disown him, then he will disown us.
We may be unfaithful, but he is always faithful,
for he cannot disown his own self.
Alternative Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-2
We shall be like God because we shall see him as he really is
Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
Alternative Second Reading: 1 John 3:14-16
We have passed out of death and into life
We have passed out of death and into life,
and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers.
If you refuse to love, you must remain dead;
to hate your brother is to be a murderer,
and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
This has taught us love – that he gave up his life for us;
and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
It is my Father’s will, says the Lord,
that I should lose nothing of all he has given to me,
and that I should raise it up on the last day.
Gospel: Mark 15:33-39,16:1-6 (Year B)
Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last
When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood by heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah.’ Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink saying; ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down.’ But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, ‘In truth this man was a son of God.’
When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.
They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ But when they looked they could see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.