Sunday, November 1, 2009

Remembering--A Reflection on the Solemnity of All Saints

On November 1st, we celebrate on the church calendar All Saints Day. For me All Saints Day is one of my favorite days of the year. We don't just remember all the saints in heaven. We don't just remember all of our family members. We get an opportunity to step back and realize what a wonderful faith we have.

You see, we once were cut off. We were cut off from heaven and cut off from a chance at eternal happiness. But, as the weird rainbow haired guy reminds us by holding up that John 3:16 sign, "For God so loved that world that he gave his only begotten son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life." Think about that. God loves us so much that he sacrificed his very son to die a very horrible death nailed to a tree so that you and I could spend eternity with him.

We remember this on All Saints Day by remembering those who have suffered death and are with God in Heaven. You see by recalling those who have passed before us we are reminded that we too will be able to spend that eternity there with them. That's a great gift of the Catholic faith is that we do remember those who have passed and use them as models for us to follow. One criticism Catholics face is our honoring saints. There are some who think that we worship saints by honoring them or asking for their intersessions. Nothing is further from the truth.

No one is worthy of worship but God. But by honoring the saints, we do recall Christ's death and resurrection which is the reason that they are in heaven. We are able to model ourselves after them so that we may follow in their footsteps. Most importantly, we are able to recall that death does not separate us because we are all part of the Body of Christ!!

And no where is this reminder that death does not separate us made more present than in the mass. You see--at mass Heaven and Earth meet. That shroud is pulled back and we are able to worship with those who have "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev 7:14). At mass the shroud is pulled back and we are able to be with those who have left us prior.

That's why I love All Saints Day. I can do it any mass but this one especially is a good time to remember that I'm not just at Holy Family Catholic Church with my wife and kids. I am united with all those living and departed in the Body of Christ. I am reminded that nothing can separate me from any of my brothers and sisters in Christ. It's a special opportunity to pray my own Litany of the Saints:

Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us
St Joseph, pray for us
St Michael the Archangel, pray for us
Grandpa Chub, pray for us
Grandma Margaret, pray for us
Grandpa Max, pray for us
Grandma Doris, pray for us
Uncle Bud, pray for us
Uncle Dave, pray for us
Uncle Bob, pray for us
Uncle Mick, pray for us
All holy men and women, pray for us

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