Dear Lord today is all Saint’s day! It is a wonderful day. So far today I've done all right. I haven't gossiped, haven't lost my temper, and haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I'm very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I'm going to get out of bed, and from then on I'm probably going to need a lot more help. Amen
November 1st is all Saints day and November 2nd is All Souls day. Sometimes we think that the church means we who are on earth. Church has three realms. The church on earth is called the militant church because we are in a battle between good and evil; the souls in purgatory are called suffering church because they are in a purifying state to fully experience God’s glory and the saints who have already entered the heavenly glory are the victorious or triumphant church.
All Saints day is a feast honoring all Christian saints – known and unknown. All baptized Christians who have died and are now with God in glory are considered saints. All Saints Day is a day on which we thank God for giving ordinary men and women a share in His holiness and heavenly glory as a reward for their faith. In addition, the feast is observed to teach us to honor the saints, both by imitating their lives and by seeking their intercession for us before Christ.
On All Souls Day, we remember all those who have gone before us. Benedict XVI says Soul corresponds to our capacity for a relationship with God. Normally we all want to see, touch, smell, and taste everything. In other words, we like firsthand experience. But, are we satisfied with that? Don’t we have craving for something in our hearts? There is an inner capacity to relate to God. We feel in our hearts, something beyond this world. Our souls long for something beyond this world.
This weekends reading tells us who is a saint and what we need to do to become a saint. The first reading from the Book of Revelation speaks John’s vision. He saw an angel coming from the East and the seal of the living God (7:2). East is considered as the source of light and place of paradise; and the seal has whatever impression it belongs to that person and under his/her protection. “I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites” (7:4). It is a symbolic number who have marked with a seal from the twelve tribes of Israel, and other places symbolize the new Israel, the church. John says, “I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands” (7:9). White robes, palm branches: symbols of joy and victory. We see in Revelation 3:5 “The victor will thus be dressed in white, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels.” The book of life: the roll in which the names of the redeemed are kept.
God gave Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai to Moses. In the Gospel, we see the new Moses, Jesus, who gives Sermon on the Mount on a mountain to his disciples and crowd. Here Jesus talks about the new spirit of the kingdom of God; the spirit in which the children of the kingdom should live. The form Blessed are (is) occurs frequently in the Old Testament in the Wisdom literature and in the psalms. Poor means materially poor, but Jesus says poor in spirit means dependence on God. Psalm 37:11 we read, “The poor will inherit the earth, and will delight in great prosperity.” In the Psalm it means the land of Palestine; when Jesus teaches it means the kingdom of heaven. We may notice in the Gospel of Matthew it says “kingdom of heaven” Luke, in his Gospel will say “kingdom of God.” Matthew wrote the Gospel to the Jewish community and they were afraid to call God directly, so they used some other words to talk about God. So Matthew does not use the word “God” instead uses the word “heaven.” In the beatitude, Jesus tells us how to lead a holy life.
November 1 -7 is the National Vocation Awareness Week. We all are called to holiness, but in different ways: as a priest, married couple and family, singles, religious life, and so on. In a special way, this week let us pray for Vocation to the priesthood and religious life. Tell your children or grandchildren about the vocation to the priesthood and religious life.