Solemnity of All Saints
Today we celebrate a glorious family reunion, the solemn feast that gives us a glimpse of all our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone home to Go
d before us. When we quiet ourselves to hear the Word of God today, we recall the mystery of our salvation. We praise the Lord who saves our loved ones who have died and who promises to have mercy on us as well. The reading from Revelation amazes us with its sweeping images of countless souls basking in God’s glory. The Responsorial Psalm echoes our own longing to join those saints and look on the face of God. Saint John’s letter affirms our deep desire to be with God, providing
robust advice about how we may realize our hope: by living purely. The familiar words of Matthew’s Beatitudes show the way to purity—and to genuine happiness, now and forever.
Successful organizations live by strong mission statements. All Saints’ Day reminds the Church of her mission: to know the love of God on earth in order to experience the fullness of God’s happiness forever in heaven. The Church herself—and each one of us, her members—can use this celebration to give thanks and to renew our commitment to evangelization. If the heart of Jesus desires to unite all souls in heaven, then we must spend time every day actively praying for and serving God’s people. In our words and actions, we can pour Christ’s love into the world. We can be the light of the world, reminding everyone that this life is a foretaste of what is to come.
God’s enemy, Satan, does not want us to think of heaven, prepare for heaven, or long for heaven’s peace. Satan wants us to forget about our connection to the Lord and live only for the glory we can find here and now. We feel that hellish pull whenever we grow tired of doing good, especially when no one appreciates or thanks us. We know the temptation to despair when we hear skeptics ridicule believers, especially if we can’t point to convincing evidence that God provides for us that there is a life after this one. These shaky, uncomfortable experiences may come to us once in a while, or they may take root in our hearts and burden us for years. This is precisely why we must celebrate All Saints’ Day with hearty gladness, because every single blessed soul in heaven is praying for us. The Communion of Saints is real, and the strength that Jesus sends to us through their prayers makes an actual difference in our lives. Just as we pray for one another here on earth, our big brothers and sisters in Christ continue to pray for us, inviting us to know and share the love of God.