On this Holy Day we celebrate all of God’s children in heaven...
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of All Saints (November 1, 2022): 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.
This includes the few who have been named saints by the Church and the many, many more who are also there -- waiting and praying for us to join them.
On this feast of All Saints, we contemplate the men, women, and children who have gone before us and who turned themselves over to the Divine Will. In other words, the holy people of God. The Blessed Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- did not make us just to live in earthly time, but for all eternity. God created us out of love and wants us to share heaven with Him. That was and is and always will be God’s plan for us. But, because He gave us free will, we get to choose how we live. Will we choose Him? Or will we prefer our own way, led by desire for the world, our preferences and pleasures? Do we understand how much God loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him and, yes, with one another? Then we need to follow in the footsteps of the saints who have gone before us. We should also pay attention to those among us who are striving to do and to be all God asks, day by day. God call us to accept and rejoice in our lives, not simply as His people, but as His sons and daughters. “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” (1 John 3:1-2). Through Christ’s sacrifice and our cooperation with His grace, we too, will be saints. This is not just something conferred on us in a distant future, it is a choice that we make now. Whatever faults and failures we experience along the way, we are not alone. God is always with us. And so, in a special way, are our brothers and sisters already in heaven.
St. Thomas Aquinas, speaking about the relationship between saints in heaven and those of us on earth, said: “People who live together, in the sense that they have the same end must share with one another what they are doing in such a way that those who have not yet reached the end are led to it. And therefore, we, the ones on the way to happiness, are led into it by words and examples. Whereas the ones who have already achieved the end help others to achieve it. And this is the reason why we celebrate the feasts of the saints who have already attained happiness, so that we may be built up by their examples and stimulated by their rewards.” Happy All Saints Day to those in heaven -- and those still on earth!