“The holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever—for ever and ever.” Daniel 7:18 (1st reading)
“For ever—for ever and ever” indeed! This Sunday we celebrate All Saints Day (moved from its traditional date of November 1). Actually, we do not celebrate All Saints Days, we celebrate all the saints—our true BFFs, our “for ever and ever friends”, those officially recognized by the Church and those who remain hidden even to the eyes of the Church and are known only to God.
Not all parishes celebrate in such deliberate fashion. We do because, well, the heavenly host are a big deal! One need but look into the clerestory of our church. Represented are seventy-seven saints (the number of perfection, by the way, which Jesus mentions when asked how many times one must forgive) as well as the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and love), and the four cardinal virtues (temperance, fortitude, justice, and prudence).
We are richly blessed to be preceded and accompanied on our journey by these sisters and brothers in Christ. How much richer the journey. We will discover, when we see them face-to-face in the light of God, how strong and merciful an invisible hand they lent along the way. Thus, with St. Paul, “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inher-itance among the saints.” Ephesians 1:17-18 (2nd reading).
Yours with the saints,