Scripture: lectionary 667 : All Saints Day, 2012 (Nov.1). Revelation 7:2-4,9-14. Psalm 24:1-2,3-4,5-6. I John 3:1-3. Matthew 5:1-12
As members of the Body of Christ, the Church, we are destined and called to live lives of holiness. There is a universal call to holiness in every human being for all are made in the image and likeness of God. Rabbi Klenicki says that we are made in the image of God then what we do with our lives when living them wholesomely is how we become the “likeness of God.” Paul has the same idea for us when he says, “For me to live is Christ.” (Phil. 1:21).
Jesus shows us how to live a life of wholesomeness through the Beatitudes. We all have the capacity to practice them and have several of them that come as gifts to us. They are our map and blueprint for becoming saints. Matthew’s version has the expression “You are to be perfect even as your Heavenly Father is perfect!” (Matthew 5:48). Luke tells us that we are to be compassionate as God is compassionate (Luke 6:36).
Often we try to imagine what heaven will be. We have an early visionary named John of Patmos who describes what he thinks heaven will be. He tells us about the 144,000 who are specially chosen to be among the saints. There is another scene in which myriads upon myriads are present to the Lord and ministering to God together with Lamb of God and all the saints. We need not fear about not being among the 144,000. We are included in the myriads upon myriads of men and women there according to this visionary. All have been washed in baptism and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
St. John writes in his epistle that we are all children of God. “Dearly beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall later be has not yet come to light. … See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yet that in fact is what we are.”
Psalm 24 has a refrain question for us this day: “Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?” We learn that those whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean and who desires not what is vain may ascend the holy mount of the Lord—the new and heavenly Jerusalem.
We celebrate all the saints today who not only pray and intercede for us but who have shown us how to live life fully in the Spirit. We know that the reign of God, the kingdom of heaven, the realm of God are all one and we belong to it for we are members of the Communion of Saints. We are in union with Mary whose heart always says “yes” to the Lord. “Blessed are they who have heard the word of God and kept it.” Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.