Sunday 1st November 2015: Solemnity of All Saints
Reflection: Matthew 5: 1-12
A SHINING LIGHT THEY LEFT US
“We seek from the saints example in their way of life, fellowship in their communion and the help of their intercession” – Vatican II
Every day we live as Christians ought to take us deeper in intimacy with Christ (Philippians 3: 12-13). This spiritual progress we are called to has never been and will never be achieved with ease as it demands the renunciation of our whole self (Luke 9:23-24). It is for this exemplary life of self-renunciation and fidelity to Christ despite all odds that the Church celebrates her saints today. Their lives affirm the truth that cooperating with the grace of God, we can all live out our call to sanctity (Leviticus 19:2).
Beloved in Christ, what are your struggles and weaknesses? Are you facing some opposition to your faith and spiritual advancement? Please be reminded that no challenge you are going through is absolutely new, so do not give up. The Church is calling you and I to reflect on the lives of the saints gone ahead of us and draw strength from their steadfastness and perseverance. We are also encouraged to seek the intercessory support of these holy men and women for strength on our own spiritual journey.
To those who think otherwise of the appropriateness of asking for the prayers of the saints, we need to remind ourselves of certain truths: (i) Our communion and fellowship as faithful in Christ transcend physical death (John 11: 17-26; Matt 22: 31-32; Jeremiah 15:1). For us, life is changed and not ended by death when we abide in Christ. (ii) God delights in the prayers of the righteous (Proverbs 15: 8, 29; Job 42:8) and encourages us as faithful to pray for one another (James 5:16). If the saints are alive in Christ, and closer to God than we are (Revelation 7: 13-15), should we not seek their intercessory support as we do for other faithful here on earth (Hebrew 13:18; Colossians 4:2-4)? (iii) Asking for the intercessory support of saints does not in any way change our conviction on Christ being the one mediator between God and men ( 1 Timothy 2:5) just as asking for the prayers of pastors or brethren does not alter this conviction.
Dearest in Christ, let us all make holiness a daily pursuit that the light of our faith may brightly shine to lead others to Christ even after our departure from this world.
PRAYER: You have called me to holiness dear Lord, please help me to daily walk therein through the help of your grace. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 497- Why does it help to turn to the saints when we pray?
Saints are people who are aflame with the Holy Spirit; they keep God’s fire burning in the Church. Even during their earthly life, the saints prayed ardently, in a way that was contagious. When we are close to them, it is easy to pray. Of course, we never worship saints; we are allowed, though, to call on them in heaven, so that they may present petitions for us at the throne of God.
HIDE A TREASURE: “Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, you shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2 RSV-CE
Today’s Readings: Apocalypse 7: 2-4, 9-14; Psalms 24: 1-6; 1 John 3: 1-3; Matthew 5: 1-12