When the Saints Come Marching In
November 1, 2021
“The Saints: Answers from Above to Questions from the Bottom.”
~Hans Urs von Balthasar – 1905-1988 – Swiss theologian
From his introduction to Adrienne von Speyr’s “The Book of all Saints”
I hope that you had the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist with your family today, All Saints Day. The saints show us many different paths to holiness and pray for us to join them. In his generosity, God shows us his desire for us to live with him forever. In today’s Gospel, we hear the lessons that give us Jesus’ reassurance that the reward for those who live accordingly will be great in heaven and that we are all called to be saints. This was the message given to the crowd gathered before Jesus when he delivered the Sermon on the Mount, know today as the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12). Through the beatitudes, Jesus’ standard of blessedness, we can seek and find holiness. As we reflect on this, we can ask, “What might my path to holiness look like?” One of the ways in which we might find this path to holiness is through the saints, both in heaven and on earth. We can read about the lives, mission, and ministry of the saints, and think about their lives in light of our own. Patron saints are those with whom we most closely identify. When we are young, we are often asked to think about those saints (in heaven and on earth) with whom we most closely identify. We learn about those with whom we share a similar path to holiness. It is our Patron saints that encourage us and pray for us; ask them to intercede for you.
We celebrate today the solemnity of All Saints. This invites us to turn our gaze to the immense multitude of those who have already reached the blessed land and points us on the path that will lead us to that destination.
Pope St. John Paul II, All Saints’ Day 2003