Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Solemnity of All Saints

(Revelation &:2-4.9-14; I John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a)

Mike is a simple, honest fellow. He never went to college but has been able to earn a comfortable living by working with unions. He sees himself as so fortunate that he wants to give back to others some of what God has bestowed on him. Unlike many with similar motivation Mike helps people anonymously; that is, he tries not to make a show of his generosity. Someday Mike may be among the people that we celebrate today, the Feast of All Saints.

In Matthew’s gospel, after Jesus calls “blessed” those who are poor and meek, yearn for justice, and suffer persecution, he tells his disciples that they should strive for holiness without calling attention to themselves. As if it were possible, they are not even to let their left hand know what their right hand is doing. Because many have followed Jesus’ admonition through the ages, the number of saints vastly exceeds the 10,000 or so that are on the Church’s books. Especially these anonymous ones are called upon today for assistance.

But, of course, invocation of the saints is only half our responsibility. We must imitate the saints’ holiness as well. Our “random acts of kindness” should also be “anonymous acts” as much as possible. When we live in this way, we will find ourselves not just pleasing God but also living in peace.