The Holy Men and Women of Every Time and Place

Homily for All Saints Day (Year A)
November 1, 2020
Sacred Heart, EGF – Sunday 12:00 PM

The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs by Fra Angelico (ca. 1424-1424)

Today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place:
those who have run the race before us,
those who made it and now cheer us on.

We hear their voices.
We sense their closeness.

They are here.
They are all around us…a great multitude.

The communion of saints – we feel the power and the presence of that communion today.

Today Holy Mother Church holds up our older brothers and sisters in the faith as an example for us.  Today she brings them for a visit.

Who are they?

They are known to us…

Mary, the handmaid of the Lord
Joseph in his gentle care
Mary in her contemplation and Martha in her work.
Benedict in his prayer and work
Francis in his abandonment of all in the pursuit of God
Dominic in his gift of eloquence in preaching
Thomas Aquinas in his intellect
Ignatius of Loyola in his discernment of spirits
Teresa of Avila in her very determined determination to never give up on prayer
Maximilian Kolbe in his love for Mary and his heroic sacrifice for Francis Gajowniczek in a concentration camp
Pier Giorgio Frassati in his love for mountain climbing, the Eucharist, and the poor
Gianna in her fierce motherly love
John Paul II in his love for young people and his philosopher’s mind
Faustina in her message of Divine Mercy

Others are known to us and to God but anonymous to the world…

Still others are lost to us in the obscurity of time but known to the heart of God and loved in the communion of Saints in Heaven…

Men and women who allowed their lives to be transformed by the saving power of Christ….

Men and women who,
little by little,
day by day,
offered simple sacrifices of love for God and for those near to them,
acts of love and kindness and compassion and service,
sacrifices that have been written in gold in the scroll of the Lamb of God

Men and women who were sanctified and transformed by the ordinary events of their lives.  There are no miracles attributed to them, except for the miracle of selfless love and surrender to the God who is Love itself.

Our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents,
our aunts and uncles,
children who died too young but are now fully alive in the glory of God.

Today we rejoice in them.

They are known
for their integrity and their courage in standing up for what is right and just,
for their ability to see the presence of God in everyday life,
for their humble faith in God in the presence of incredible suffering.

They are known
for their gentleness,
for their listening ear and wise counsel,
for their reliability,
for always being there when they are needed most.

They are known
for their faithfulness and commitment to living out their marriages,
for providing for their children.

They are here.
Today is their day.

as we remember them,
as we sense their presence,
as we benefit from their prayers and hear them cheering us on,
we are filled with a tremendous yearning…
a yearning to join them,
a longing to fulfill completely what we already are:

Children of God. 
Sons and daughters of a Father who is perfecting us in love and drawing us to himself.

The saints have made it.  They know the way.  Their example lights the way for those of us who are still on our way. 

What is the way?

Christ is the way.

The beatitudes are the way.

Rejoice and be glad, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is the way of surrender. 
It is the way of love. 

Today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place.
All you holy men and women pray for us.

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