Solemnity of All Saints
(Revelation 7:2-4.9-14; I John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a)
Every one of us probably can tell the story of a saint. We probably did not know a canonized saint like Mother Teresa or St. Oscar Romero. But we have known at least one or two people whose lives always reflected God’s holiness and goodness. I knew a priest who even when he lived almost a hundred years would answer the door for all callers. If they wanted him to hear their confession, which usually was the case, he would do it promptly, even if he was eating dinner at the time.
Today’s gospel gives us the characteristics of these saints. They are “poor in spirit” never resting on their laurels but always looking to God for salvation. They show mercy to all never holding grudges but always willing to forgive those who wrong them. They possess clean hearts never allowing animal desires to objectify others but treating everyone as a beloved brother or sister.
All saints have their feast day on which we remember their virtue and pray for their intercession. Today we celebrate not those special saints whom we have known or heard of but of all whom we have not known. We recognize that they have been transformed by God’s grace which spreads like air throughout the world. We also pray today that we will allow ourselves to breathe in that grace.