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Feast of All Saints – 1 November 2019 – by Fr. Vicky Mendes MSFS

Feast of All Saints – 1 November 2019 – by Fr. Vicky Mendes MSFS


My dear people of God, today it’s a joyous
day for all of us as we celebrate the feast of all the Saints. Saints are the church’s heroes and heroines. We too can become saints if we do what Christ
asks of us. We are called to be saints in our own little
ways, wherever we are, whatever we are, and however sinful we are. Once there was a holy man who had the powers
to ward-off evil. Whenever there was a tragedy approaching,
he had the habit of going into the forest, lighting a fire, saying a prayer and the approaching
tragedy would disappear. Years later, one of his disciples seeing a
misfortune coming, did the same. He went into the forest and said the prayer,
but he did not know how to light the fire still the misfortune disappeared. Years later someone else tried to do the same
but he neither knew how to light the fire, nor say the prayer. He only knew the place in the forest. But the waiting tragedy disappeared all the
same. Many centuries later an ordinary woman who
had heard of these stories was called upon to avert a plague. She just sat in her house and spoke these
words. She said, “Dear God, I am unable to light
the fire, neither I know the prayer nor the place, all I can do is to meditate on the
story and hope that you would do the rest”. Well, she did not possess any of the secrets
of the others but she had what the others dint have and that is her trust in God and
that was more than enough. Most of us do not know the exact reasons for
the pain and misery, disasters and calamities that plague our world. We do try hard to overcome these even though
we do not know how to light the fire, how to say the inspired prayer and how to find
the place to say those prayers. But we know and believe in the communion of
saints, saints who held on to the only secret that helped them to face the world is faith
in God. In our catechism classes we were taught that
saints are pious and prayerful people, who never fight or hurt anybody rather they are
loving and charitable. The dictionary says that a saint is a holy
person, a saint who has been declared by the church to have won a place in heaven and as
a result venerated by the faithful. Most of us would agree with all these definitions. However, todays first reading has a different
take on the matter. It says that saints are an assembly of ordinary
people who have been faithful to God till the very end of their lives. They are the real people. It is God who protected them, puts seal on
them and gave them the final victory. What does this seal signify? St. John says in the second reading that we
are all children of God and through baptism we have been sealed and thus we belong to
God. Today’s gospel too affirms this. The seal that is been talked about is actually
the beatitudes that are presented by Jesus as a way of life for the disciples. The one who lives the beatitudes is a saint
and is sealed by God. There are many living saints too among us
today, saints without being officially declared as such. Unfortunately, we do not recognize them even
though we live with them. The loving mothers and fathers of every family
who labor and sacrifice for the sake of their children, Christians who live virtuous lives
are few examples. Ordinary, simple people who are faithful to
God are the ones dear to God. Whoever depends wholly on the favor of God
is already a saint in his kingdom. They may not know how to light the fire, may
not know how to say the prayer, may not even find the place in the forest, yet these are
the people who have enriched the history of the church with their quite witness, whose
lives are not proclaimed and whose names are unknown . but God knows them and they are
among us as saints today. The feast of all saints is a call and a challenge
for all of us to be a saint even as we run the course of our life, a saint by sheer genuineness
of life. May the intercession of all the saints lead
us and protect us, Amen.

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