Where the entrance antiphon is used this Sunday, the people will say together the following words, “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honour of all the Saints, at whose festival the angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.” Today is a day for honouring and celebrating; we celebrate the saints which have been proclaimed saints; but also those who are known only to God. We thank God for them, and we ask for their intercession, in the hope that one day, we can join them as Saints in Heaven.
So how can we join them? The fact is that we have joined them already as brothers and sisters in Christ. They have completed their journey on earth and have overcome the hurdles life threw at them and succeeded. We have still to overcome the hurdles which form barriers in our lives which keep us from getting closer to God. We are the Church on earth, they are the Church in heaven. One Church serving one God. Our journey requires us to love God and love our neighbour.
Today’s feast emphasises for me more than most, that we have to be people of action. Last Monday, I had the privilege of sitting in on a meeting of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Basingstoke. I listened as I heard how they reach out to people, supporting them on their journey by giving them time; perhaps a phone call or a visit. What they are actually doing is showing people love. They are sharing the love Christ has given them and spreading that love to others who at this moment in time need to feel and experience being loved.
One of the sources I use when putting together my reflections/homilies is a book called “I Am With You”, it provides scriptural reflections aimed primarily at couples, but more often than not they apply to everyone. The reflection for today’s feast was provided by Maurice and Margaret and it is beautiful in its simplicity, they say
Our faithfulness and love for each other will unite us with all the Saints. On this Feast of all the Saints we are reminded that all the acts of kindness, tenderness, help and care that we give to each other and to others, no matter how large or how small, are being sanctified and made holy. Nothing, no matter how small, and no one, no matter how little they think of themselves, is missed or forgotten by God.”
Everything we do to help others, because we belong to Jesus is sanctified by Him; and no-one is forgotten by God. For me this is really encouraging. There are times when I wonder if I am doing the right thing, when I question the value of myself and my actions.
This reminds me that everyone is important to God. This is illustrated wonderfully in the Gospel used today. The translation used suggests the word ‘Happy’, but in other translations the word used is ‘Blessed’. Jesus; in what we now call the Beatitudes; is saying that if you find life tough and still persevere in His love then you will be rewarded in heaven. If you try to help people who are having a tough life, then you will be rewarded in heaven. He is also saying that if people laugh at you, persecute you or tell lies about you because you are a follower of His, then you will have a great reward in heaven.
Jesus wants us to be people of action, Jesus wants us to love, He wants us to be peace makers, He wants us to be merciful, He wants us to be pure in heart.
Where in your life can you sow peace this week?
Where in your life can you show mercy this week?
What do you need to do today to rid yourself of those doubts about other people which are stopping you from helping them?
Jesus speaks loudly in the Gospel; He wants you and He wants me to love. He already loves everyone, regardless of how insignificant they may feel. He wants us to do the same.
I Am With You, Two in One Flesh team (ISBN 978-0957101036)
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)2
CC 61, 946-962, 1090, 1137-1139, 1370: the Church, a communion of saints
CCC 956, 2683: the intercession of the saints
CCC 828, 867, 1173, 2030, 2683-2684: the saints, examples of holiness
Please keep in your prayers
- God’s creation, that mankind will become better stewards of this world which has been entrusted to us by God and that the Conference in Glasgow this week will be a first step to every country recognising and accepting their responsibilities towards protecting the world.
- Those who are sick, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
- The Year of the Eucharist, that this will lead to a fresh outpouring of love by the people of God for the Body and Blood of Christ.
- A renewed love of praying the Rosary as we come to the end of the month dedicated to the Rosary.
- The three children being baptised this weekend in Holy Ghost Parish; Ethan, Uchechukwu and Marleigh; may their parents and Godparents be great role models of a Christian life and may they be raised in loving, Spirit filled homes.
- The listening stage of the 16th Synod of Bishops which is entitled “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” that all Catholics will take part.
1 Two in One Flesh, I Am With You – Year B, (Two in One Flesh, Caterham, 2010)154