Since Sunday falls on the first of November this year we all celebrate All Saints’ Day, it’s one of those Holy Days of Obligation so the readings don’t change year to year. All Saints’ Day is a day in which we honor all those named and unknown saints throughout the ages. All Souls’ Day follows and we remember all those faithful who have died but have not been attained heaven yet.
As we turn to the readings we first encounter Revelation. John is revealing to us what he saw in his vision. This is a unique sight as we have some vague idea of the Church universal as it exists of those on earth (Church militant) and those in heaven (the Church triumphant) all of these individuals are bowing down before the Throne of Lord. The Church Universal also includes those in Purgatory (Church penitent). Those bowing before the Lord are those who know the Lord and have washed their garments in his blood.
Turning to the second reading we hear one of the Epistles of John. In this first letter John writes that we should not be frustrated with the world if it does not recognize us for the world simply does not know the Lord, but as Christian we are the hope for the world. As Benedict XVI said “In times like these,… there is the great risk of reducing Christian hope to an ideology…Nothing is more contrary to Jesus’ message! He does not want his disciples to “recite” a part, even that of hope. He wants them “to be” hope and they can only be hope if they remain united to him! He wishes each one of you, dear young friends, to be a small source of hope for your neighbor and, all together, to become an oasis of hope for the society in which you are integrated.”
Finally we reach the Gospel where we hear the Beatitudes. Those Blessed are…, for they will… this is the guide to sainthood. Pope Francis has said this many times and he has written up reflections on the three of the Beatitudes, as the themes of the past two and the next World Youth Day. Let us all try to make something of these messages and try to make the beatitudes a part of our lives. You can look through some of the many post I have about Saints to be inspired on how to live your life.