HOMILY FOR ALL SAINTS’ DAY (Nov. 1).
This time, I was expecting the answer 😀 since here in Spain, the practice was becoming widespread so I said: “Well, not quite….although the word ‘Halloween’ comes from “Hallow’s” – archaic word for ‘Holy’- and “Eve”, i.e., the night before All Saints’ day)…Not quite since this commercialized practice has spoiled the feast its real meaning.
- It is a day when the entire Church REJOICES for THE VICTORY OF THE COUNTLESS MULTITUDE OF HOLY MEN AND WOMEN, most of whom are unknown to us, from all walks of life, of any age, from all nations, WHO HAVE FOLLOWED AND LOVED GOD HERE ON EARTH IN THEIR ORDINARY LIFE TILL THE END and ARE NOW ENJOYING THE ETERNAL HAPPINESS IN HEAVEN: They are the SAINTS not officially proclaimed by the Church but nevertheless are such in God’s eyes.
- It is the day when the Church joyfully reminds us that ALL OF US ARE CALLED TO HOLINESS. Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am Holy (Lev 19:2; cf also Mt 5:48; also 1 Thes 4:3)
- who had struggles, temptations, difficulties, problems, (perhaps similar to what we have) in this life and they had fought as often as necessary and conquered for love of Christ;
- ordinary people who had to struggle against their own disordered passions and tendencies ; who had fallen so many times but stood up, counting on God’s mercy;
- who had committed errors, sins of pride, laziness, lust…even grave sins perhaps…but they repented, sought God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of confession., and fought daily against themselves without discouragement and with humility and commitment, beginning over and over again as long as it took for love of God;
- who knew how to love because they knew how to forget themselves and sacrifice themselves for love of Christ and of the people around them;
- who , like us, were called by God to be holy, without considering themselves as such, perfect and holy. Rather, they have always thought of themselves the contrary: sinners in need of God’s mercy;
- were people who sought, found and loved God above anything else in the midst of their ordinary daily activities, carrying out the little things with great love for God.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven.”
The Beatitudes “show us the path that leads to the Kingdom of God and to happiness: the path of humility, compassion, meekness, justice and peace. To be a saint is to walk on this road […] Indeed, the world says that in order to have happiness you must be rich, powerful, always young and strong, and enjoy fame and success. Jesus overturns these criteria and makes a prophetic proclamation — and this is the prophetic dimension of holiness — the true fullness of life is achieved by following Jesus, by putting his Word into practice. And this means another poverty, that is, being poor within, hollowing oneself to make room for God. Those who believe themselves to be rich, successful and secure base everything on themselves and close themselves off from God and their brothers and sisters, whereas those who know that they are poor and not self-sufficient remain open to God and to their neighbour. And they find joy. The Beatitudes, then, are the prophecy of a new humanity, of a new way of living: making oneself small and entrusting oneself to God, instead of prevailing over others; being meek, instead of seeking to impose oneself; practising mercy, instead of thinking only of oneself; committing oneself to justice and peace, instead of promoting injustice and inequality, even by connivance. Holiness is accepting and putting into practice, with God’s help, this prophecy that revolutionizes the world. (Pope Francis, Angelus, Nov. 1, 2021)”
“The Beatitudes DEPICT THE COUNTENANCE OF JESUS CHRIST AND PORTRAY HIS CHARITY. They EXPRESS THE VOCATION OF THE FAITHFUL associated with the glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they SHED LIGHT ON THE ACTIONS AND ATTITUDES CHARACTERISTIC OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE; they are THE PARADOXICAL PROMISES THAT SUSTAIN HOPE IN the midst of tribulations; PROCLAIM THE BLESSINGS AND REWARDS already secured, however dimly, for Christ’s disciples; they have begun in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints (Catechism n. 1717).”
“Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honor of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God .”(Entrance Antiphon)
- NOV. 1 MASS PRAYERS AND READINGS
- BE HOLY, FOR I THE LORD, YOUR GOD, AM HOLY
- THE FIRST STEP TO HOLINESS? TO WANT IT!
- FOSTER THE HOPE OF BEING A SAINT
- HOLINESS IN LITTLE THINGS DONE OUT OF LOVE FOR GOD
- TOP 10 IDEAS OF POPE FRANCIS’ GAUDETE ET EXULTATE, THE CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY’S WORLD.
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