Revelation 7:9-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This coming Sunday, the Church commemorates the Feast of All Saints’. This is the day in the Church year where the whole Church remembers those saints who have gone before us and died in the faith. This is the day, where we at St. Paul, remember those saints who have departed from among us and are now “at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Indeed, it is a solemn day as we remember those members who have died and are with us no more.
Although, one may wonder why we call this day a “celebration” or a “feast.” A day to remember those who have died does not sound like much of a celebration, especially those who have died recently. The wound remains near to our hearts and burdens our soul. For this day serves as a reminder that the sting of death awaits us all. For we all have sinned and deserve death. Just as Paul says, “The wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23).
But you see, this day hinges on that one little word, “saint”. Literally, “a holy one.” For life is not reckoned according to their sins and misdeeds. Rather, it is reckoned to them by Christ’s deeds. It was their faith that counted them as righteous. It was their faith that made them saints. Just as Revelation says, “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” Revelation 7:14. The holy, innocent blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was shed for them on the cross. By his blood, they have been washed clean of all their sins.
For this is what All Saints’ Day is all about. It’s not to remember how great of a person someone was, nor another time to bear the painful reminder of their death. No. All Saints’ Day is to remember those who kept their eyes on Jesus, despite all troubles and hardships, despite death itself. For on this day, we are reminded that Jesus has indeed saved them. He has brought them from death to life. This day is to celebrate that Jesus has been faithful to his promise. For now, those who have gone before us are truly “at home with the Lord.” They stand before the very throne of God. “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes,” (Revelation 7:17). On this day, we praise God that He has brought all saints into his presence and gives them eternal life! Amen!
Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.