Today we remember not only the canonized saints but all the ordinary saints we have all known. It is a reminder to us that our central Christian call is to be holy as our heavenly Father is holy. Let’s confess any ways we fail in this witness..
This time of year, as the days grow short and dark and the weather cold and wet, the church wisely asks to reflect on the end things, death, judgement and Christ’s second coming. It does so not to frighten us but to keep us awake spiritually. A child in the dark is often afraid. It senses the link between darkness and evil, and no one wants to live in darkness forever. That’s also why we’ve two great feasts this week; All Saints and All Souls. We remember those who kept the faith and reached eternal light and also those still in darkness, who need our prayers.
In today’s scripture the church tells us how to avoid that fate, how to be part of the vast throng of white-robed saints Christ will lead to eternity on the last day. We’re to go through life free from worthless desires. We’re to keep our hearts as pure as Christ’s. He lists the inner attitudes the saints on earth should have. Free from greed, loving and gentle, bearing sorrow bravely, courageously following what’s right. Merciful, pure in heart, peaceful, ready to suffer in keeping the faith.
These are the paths to sainthood, and the way to happiness here below, to knowing God, being his sons and daughters, members of his holy kingdom for the world’s salvation, a vocation we received at baptism. Then we were given a candle lit from the Paschal Candle and told to keep that flame burning in our hearts until we went out with all the saints to meet Christ at last.
Today we celebrate those saints who’ve gone before us, many of them ordinary people we knew. People like our mothers or grandmothers always saying their beads, who kept the faith in difficult times and had kind gentle hearts. Not that they were perfect, who is. Holiness is the constant struggle to do our best despite our faults. Christ puts the ideal before us but knows that we’re sinners. That’s also why we have masses said for our departed during November. Christ not only showed us the way to God but bore our sins on the cross. Every mass ensures that darkness is washed from our souls and those of our departed.
For in this dark time of the year were not only called to be part of the saints in light, and they’re put before us as examples, were also warned that some may be plunged in darkness forever. That’s certainly where none of us want to be. Its why we pray for loved ones this dark time of the year and offer masses to light them on the way to heaven. For we can’t even imagine how much saving power each mass has for all the struggling souls of the world. Our ancestors knew this in walking over bogs and ditches to be at mass, risking their lives to hide priests.
The feast of all saints today! All souls tomorrow! As the book of Revelation, which deals with the world’s end says, both ask us to be worthy of our calling to be children of God in light. A light for those around us and those passed away like the saints were. A light in the winter of a hard unbelieving world. All that world’s cruel values pass, and leave those who invest in them empty on the shore of eternity, but Christ is lord of love, life, truth, beauty and salvation for our happiness in this world and our glory as his saints forever in heavenly bliss, amen. So as God’s own, called to be one with the saints in light and offering our prayers for those still in darkness, we profess our faith..
Prayers of the faithful
And as his people let’s offer our prayers for ourselves and those still in darkness where the evil one would keep them forever..
We pray for the church throughout the world and especially the church in our country that through the prayers of all the saints it may be renewed in faith and holiness…
We pray for civil leaders that they may put no obstacles in the path of the saints of God within his holy church..
We pray for ourselves that we may keep on the path of holiness and join all the saints we knew who have gone before in faith….
We pray for all those who are still immersed in the darkness of this world unbelief and sin that through our prayers they may come out into the light of Christ and find lasting peace…
For deceased relatives who have passed away – in this month of the holy souls we pray that they may reach their heavenly home, remembering the words of Scripture “its good and holy thing to pray for the dead that they may be released from their sins”…
For all our own special intentions, worries, troubles, sickness or whatever that the lord and all the saints may lead us to light peace and consolation….
And we ask all these things through Christ our Lord from whom all good things come, for he is lord of love forever, amen.
Great saints inspire us and aid our spiritual journey…Saints Peter and Paul, Francis, Anthony, Theresa etc. We pray to them in the truth of creed, its affirmation of the key doctrine of the living “communion of saints”. In this truth we can also pray to ordinary saints we knew in our lives, good people who kept faith in every adversity, who lived good lives, and are still part of a family that includes the living and dead in the communion that is the timeless church. Let’s ask Mary to be like them..Hail Mary