The Saints are Among Us

Homily for All Saints Day (Year A)
November 1, 2017
Good Samaritan, EGF – 10:00 AM
Holy Trinity, Tabor – 6:00 PM; St. Francis of Assisi, Fisher – 7:30 PM

Focus:              The saints are among us.
Function:         Today we celebrate them.


all saints

They are here. They are among us.
The saints.
They are living among us.
They are here.

St. Irenaeus once said that “the glory of God is man fully alive.” The saints were fully alive when they lived on earth and they are fully alive in Heaven.  If the glory of God is man fully alive, and the saints are fully alive, then the Glory of God is in his saints.

And, brothers and sisters, the Glory of God is blinding today. It is a blinding light.

They are here.
They are all around us.

We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…
A cloud of intercessors.

We are surrounded by men and women who sought to love God with the totality of their being – with all they’ve got – with all they have and are.

We are surrounded by men and women who allowed their lives to be transformed, who allowed their hearts to be converted, by the grace of God and the light of the Gospel.

We are surrounded by them.
We are.
They are here.
They are among us.

We are surrounded by men and women whose example of life inspires us and spurs us on to pursue a more abundant life. A life lived not for ourselves but for others.  A life poured out in service.  A life lived for God.

Today we celebrate them. We celebrate all saints.

Saints both known and unknown.
Saints from every time and place.

kolbe

Saints like Maximilian Kolbe, a man who stepped forward and offered his life in exchange for the life of Franciszek Gajowniczek, who had been sentenced to death in a starvation bunker in Auschwitz during World War II, a man whose last dying act was to raise his hand in blessing over the man who gave him his lethal injection.

Today we celebrate them. We celebrate all saints.

frassatiSaints like Pier Giorgio Frassati, still a blessed and not yet recognized as a saint, an Italian man who loved the Eucharist even more than he loved mountain climbing and smoking cigars, a man who died much too young at the age of 24 by contracting polio from a sick person he ministered to, a man whose last act on his deathbed was to scribble out a note to a friend telling him that the medicine in his coat pocket was to be delivered to a poor man who was unable to afford the medicine he needed.

Today we celebrate them. We celebrate all saints.

Stanley_RotherSaints like Stanley Rother, a farm boy from Oklahoma who became a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City who worked in the Missions in Guatemala, a man who refused to leave during the civil war when it became dangerous, stating “The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.” Fr. Rother was true to his word and it cost him his life. He was beatified 2 months ago and became the first American-born martyr.

Today we celebrate them. We celebrate all saints.

Saints known and unknown.
Saints famous and obscure.
Saints recognized and unrecognized.

Saints like our parents and grandparents who, in simple and humble ways, went about the tasks of their daily lives with a charity, a joy, and a zeal for others that lifted others’ spirits, that let others know they were cared for, that they were loved, that they mattered.

Today we celebrate them. We celebrate all saints.

Saints like our friend who suffered greatly from this or that cancer, but never complained and seized the moment of each day, saints who turned their suffering into a sacrifice for the sake of the ones they loved, saints who lived each day to the fullest, saints who could see God’s grace present to them in the midst of the Cross they carried.

Today we celebrate them. We celebrate all saints.

Saints like firemen who rush into burning buildings to save others’ lives at the cost of their own.

Today we celebrate them. We celebrate all saints.

Saints known and unknown.
Saints canonized and not canonized.
Saints famous and obscure.

And, brothers and sisters, saints in heaven but also those saints who still walk among us.

Saints like our children and grandchildren who struggle to balance work and family life, who strive to teach their children about the Love of God in a culture that so often has forgotten about God.

Saints like the neighbor who has suffered so much loss in her life and yet still she presses on with courage and joy because she hopes in the promises of her loving God and longs to see his face.

Saints who volunteer their time to come and sit with us, to listen to our stories, saints who visit those in the nursing homes and hospitals, saints who visit those who are confined to their homes, saints who comfort us in our sadness and bathe the wounds that come from living with the compassion from their hearts.

Today we celebrate them.
Today we celebrate the heroic men and women of every time and place.
Today we celebrate all saints.

Today we honor them.
Today we thank them.
Today we ask them to continue to pray for us, so that where they have gone, we may one day follow.

They are here.
They are all around us.

They are the Glory of God.
And, brothers and sisters, the Glory of God is indeed blinding today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s