The simple (and profound) premise of this lesson is that because Jesus died and rose again, He conquered death for all time and completely transformed it! Because of Christ’s saving work, “we can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.“
Catholics know, however, that just because our eventual destination is heaven, it doesn’t mean we’re necessarily going there directly. Purgatory is a place of mercy where we can be “scrubbed clean” of the effects of our sins and made ready for our eventual home of perfect holiness!
The individual person in purgatory isn’t alone in this work though. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church so beautifully reminds us, ongoing links of love connect all of us on earth, in heaven, and in purgatory. “In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others.”
What this means in practical terms is the activity in this week’s Home Lesson. From the earliest days, the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offers prayers so they will be more quickly freed from purgatory. You can do these two things with your family by doing the simple Prayer for Those Who Have Died activity in this week’s lesson. Talking about your loved ones who have already died is the best way to keep their memory alive, and praying for them to enter heaven soon is the best gift you can offer to them!