November 1, 2017
Here on this Solemnity of All Saints, we're called to acknowledge and admire our forerunners in faith. Our homily this evening pointed to the foretaste of Heaven we experience in the Mass: For a few moments, we join in the saints' eternal worship and ecstasy at the Father's throne.
Salvation comes from our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.
Blessing and glory,
wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever.
The saints are human beings, flesh and blood, our adopted siblings who now rejoice with our Father. Do we believe we can follow them? Invent new paths to sainthood?
Do you have great faith that the Kingdom of Heaven will be yours? That you will be comforted, satisfied, shown mercy, called children of God, inherit the land, and see God? They did it, not by their own strength, but by totally disposing themselves to the Lord.
And while there are many graces to be found in contemplating those who have lived out the beatitudes, I found myself reflecting on the rest of our "cloud of witnesses", the people God has put in our lives here and now. I reflected on my wife, my son, my parents, my best friends, everyone close to me. Did I truly believe they were cheering me on to Heaven? If not, should they be so close to me? If so, do I believe I can actually run that race? And am I being their witness, believing they can persevere as well?
I was humbled and inspired to think of all God's children today, past, present, and future. Let us pray with Paul the prayer that has resounded in my heart ever since I recited it daily in my Catholic college community:
Therefore, since we are surrounded
by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race
that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
Praised be Jesus Christ, the leader and perfecter of faith.