As we honor the saints, let us commit ourselves to God just as they did
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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today we celebrate All Saints Day. These include people canonized by the Church for their extraordinary devotion to God shown in a variety of ways, but always directed to honoring Christ and helping His people.
However, the first saints were basically recognized only when they suffered martyrdom. The earliest observances of this Holy Day came in the 7th century when a former Roman temple known as the Pantheon was transformed into a church where the bones of many martyrs were interred. Whether saints died for their Christian faith or spent their days committed to sharing the truth and mercy of our Lord with others, we continue to pay tribute to their lives. We look to them as models of virtue and intercessors for our needs.
St. John reminds us what it ultimately means to follow Jesus and let Him lead us to His Father. “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.… Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-3). We are told that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. This will be made apparent in eternity. But saints, canonized or not, surely saw a reflection of Christ’s image in all they met. Just as Jesus died to claim us for Himself, it is for all of us to cooperate with Him so that we can take our place among the saints in heaven.
Suggested missionary action: Let us celebrate All Saints Day by learning more about a saint, whether a favorite of ours, or one about whom we know little. We can also share a children’s book about a saint with a young person we know.