Blessed are all those who love and serve God with their lives and their love
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of All Saints (November 1, 2018): RV 7:2-4,9-14; PS 24:1-2,3-4,5-6; 1JN 3:1-3; MT 5:1-12
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
From the earliest days of the Church, those who were martyred in the name of Jesus were considered saints.
Over time, as persecutions became less frequent, followers of Christ who spent their lives in prayer, sacrifice and charity to help His people in an exceptional way were also recognized. Generally, public acclaim and the approval of a local bishop was enough until papal canonization became the norm. The current process for declaring saints has developed over the last 500 years. Today we honor many men and women whose names are familiar around the world, as well as many more who are little known – or totally unrecognized, except by God.
Yet every one of us who strives to walk in the footsteps of our Savior is called to become a saint, one committed to welcoming God’s grace and obeying His will in all things. In the Gospel for this feast, Jesus explains what God asks of His disciples and describes the virtues of His saints. We call His words the Beatitudes. His promise to those who demonstrate these difficult but precious qualities on earth is clear: eternal life: “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven” (Matthew 5:12). Because every single person God created is unique, naturally, so is each saint. In his or her own way, each one honors and celebrates the love and goodness of the Lord. The next time we say the Divine Praises, let’s really think about the words, “Blessed be God in His angels and His saints.”