November 1st yearly
This is the day we celebrate all those who are in heaven.
All in heaven are Saints.
That is what it means to be a Saint...you are in heaven
In the first reading, a book full of symbols ,which was written for early Christians who were persecuted and sentenced to death if caught because Christianity was illegal, so it is not easy for us today to interpret.
In the Book of Revelation we hear:
After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
So we know that there are many in heaven and in a sense we also hope to one day be in that multitude wearing our white robes which were we given when were baptized. We died in baptism and were given new life. The pall, a symbol of that white robe, will be placed over our casket at our funeral. A symbol that in baptism we were called to eternal life. We were called to be a part of that multitude which was not countable.
In the second reading John, reaffirms that we are God's children. If we look at salvation history, many who were chosen were not the best of the human race. But because of God's great love for each of us, we were given the chance to covert, to change, and to find eternal life.
I know that gives us great hope. God will never give up on us.
His love is so great for us that He was willing to give in to His Son to suffering and death so that each of us can find eternal life and be a part of the uncountable multitude as in the first reading.
In the Gospel from Matthew we hear the beatitudes .
I think it is always good to remember that after Jesus gave the beatitudes in His Sermon on the Mount, many did not continue to follow him. They were scandalized.
How could one be blessed, made holy, headed for eternal life by doing the beatitudes
to be poor in spirit,
to have mercy, etc
As we look at our own lives, it seems to me that the beatitudes give us hope. The only one that fulfilled them completely was Jesus.
He has showed us this is the way to eternal life. He sent the Holy Spirit to each of us to give us courage to always pray to fulfill the beatitudes in our own lives.
When we fail, let us not give up but continue to pray for the grace to fulfill them...
to one day join the multitude with our white baptismal robes.