Solemnity of All Saints
Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14, Psalm 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6, 1 John 3:1-3,
& Matthew 5:1-12a
I have always been a fan of baseball. Growing up in New York City, I had the choice of "cheering" for three major league teams—the New York Giants, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and I chose the New York Yankees. Our country is currently enjoying the 2021 World Series and, even though I will not attend any of the games, I'll enjoy the games on TV amongst many home fans who will be shouting in support of their teams. It reminds me of my cheering, rather loudly, for my heroes such as Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford when I attended games at Yankee Stadium in the 1960s.
It is no surprise then that I have no difficulty imagining the great multitude we celebrate today on Christ's team that has safely made it to "home base." Those arriving "safe at home" should never delude us into thinking that their "base-running" was errorless. Many of them had faults, just as we do. They reached home safely only after many tribulations and with good coaching. I hope you find that as comforting a thought as I do. It explains why the multitude cries out in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God and to the Lamb," not our efforts. Those safe at home have finally figured it out. Today is not too late for us to figure it out as well.
Friends, the multitude who have reached home safely and whom we celebrate today were "drafted," as we are, to be Christians, followers of Jesus the Lamb who is also the Christ. What they teach us is no more than what they were taught and how they responded to it. They mourned and hungered after righteousness. They ardently desired God and were peacemakers. Indeed, they made errors, but errors the Lamb could redeem. Is it any wonder they sing in joy and thanksgiving, "Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might to our God for ever and ever?" Our task is to learn their song and to sing it, not with words only but especially with deeds, for we will reach home safely only by doing the Word of God. Let us all sing together!
Question of the Day: Will you honor the saints in heaven by mimicking them on earth?
Prayer: "God, You allow us to honor all Your Saints in one common festival. Through the prayers of so many intercessors grant us an abundance of Your merciful favors which we so greatly desire. Amen." (From Lives of the Saints, Illustrated)