Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Solemnity of All Saints

(Revelation 7:2-4.9-14; I John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a)

Mr. Blue is the story of a saint.  The main character was never canonized and, in truth, existed in the author’s, Myles Connolly’s, mind.  But there probably was a model on which the story was based.  In any case, Mr. Blue reminds readers of people in their lives who practiced all the virtues, especially faith and love.  These men and women may never have been recognized universally as saints in part because one of the virtues they cherished was humility.  In today’s Feast of All Saints the Church honors all such people.

They are indeed many.  The first reading from the Book of Revelation describes them as “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.”  It is said that since the beginning of humanity there have lived one hundred billion human beings.  The really good ones make up that “great multitude.”  The criteria for counting them as saints come from today’s gospel. Saints are “poor in spirit,” “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” and strive to be “peacemakers.”  In short, they are always ready to sacrifice themselves for God’s sake.

We praise holy women and men not just by recalling them today but by imitating their virtue every day.  We pray for the realization of grace that assists the poor with their needs, speaks humbly and truthfully at all times, and fulfills all responsibilities to society.  Doing so will include us among the number who are praised today.