Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saints, All

Center panel of Saint Meinrad triptych
by Br. Martin Erspamer, O.S.B.

Monday, Nov. 1, 2010
Solemnity of All Saints

Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
1John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12a

You are not alone. No matter how you may feel at the moment or what you are facing at this point in your life, that is the primary message of All Saints Day. In the Archabbey Church at Saint Meinrad, we are surrounded by reminders of this as we gather around the Altar of the Lord. The lives of the saints are depicted in the stained glass windows and shrines, and the relics of a good number of saints are present in the sanctuary.

However, when we speak of the saints, we refer not only to those officially recognized as such by the Church. We mean all the faithful, past and present, from the entire world—as John says in today’s first reading, “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue.”

In the celebration of the Eucharist, time and space are transcended, and the Mystical Body of Christ stands united—including all who have gone before us and all who are still on their earthly journey. This communion is always a reality, but is especially present to us in the celebration of the Eucharist—anytime and anywhere it is celebrated.

In the Eucharist, we gather as children of God to gain a foretaste of what is to come—as illuminated in John’s vision and promised to us by Christ in the Beatitudes. Indeed, we are called not only to join the saints in their praise of God, but to become saints through our praise of God. As Pope Benedict XVI says, “To become saints means to fulfill completely what we already are, raised to the dignity of God’s adopted children in Christ Jesus.”

This is the hope that makes us pure.

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