All Saints: All of Us – Br. Michael, ofm
Ever since I have been a child, I have enjoyed Halloween. I have enjoyed the creativity of it and the sense of adventure. There is something about the glow of light coming from a carved pumpkin on a dark night that speaks to the core of who I am and who we all are. Early on in my life I learned that All Saints Day was November 1 and Halloween makes sense then when they are aligned; for the Saints know all about the light within.
In the First Letter of John (3.1-3) we read… “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.” This speaks to the creativity and sense of adventure that our lives hold not just at Halloween, rather in our daily living for we are created good, holy and worthy. Being God’s children awakens us to the creativity to build the kingdom with our abilities, skills and talents. Being God’s children means that the adventure we call life is not even a glimpse of the adventure which is our heavenly reward. Being God’s children asks us to shine forth the light which has been entrusted to us and to let it shine for we have “this hope in God”.
All Saints Day gives voice to the countless men, women and children who as Psalm 24 states, is “the company of those who seek God’s face.” All Saints Day is not about halos, white robes and wings, it is about how we the children of God seek God’s face by living out the beatitudes. The beatitudes as an extension of the golden rule provide us with the reality check of being called blessed. We are indeed blessed, as is all of humanity and creation, the reality is how we embrace and live out of this blessedness. We the children of God, saints among the saints are called to the freedom, to not living beyond our means, to the strength of offering comfort, and respect for all of creation. We are called to be a voice of justice and dignity, peacemakers and to keep our eyes on heaven. We know this is not easy in a world which puts self in demand and makes us instant stars daily, even if only of our own worlds. Being children of God is a life time journey, being saints is a journey in the making each day for as the letter of John states, “when God is revealed, we will be like God, for we will see God as God is.” This is not an instant thing at all, this is about transformation. This is about opening our heart to the truth of Love, this is about in the midst of the muck, hatred and even persecution that the light at our core (like that of a jack-o-lantern) is always shining, for we are called to “rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5.12a).
We stand shoulder to shoulder with the great saints of history who sought the face of God, we also stand shoulder to shoulder with the great saints of our time and our day (and there are many during this pandemic) who seek the face of God. Let us continue to raise our voices in gratitude, be blessings for each other, be aware of our blessings and join our voices singing with all the saints in glory for we are children of God. As we stand shoulder to shoulder, saints among the saints we will see the creativity which makes us children of God, we will be encouraged for the adventure of living out the beatitudes and we will shine with the light that God has incorporated into our very DNA! As Josephine Furlong once said, “Today (All Saints Day), as we honour the saints, the holy people of God, let us keep in mind that each one of us shares in the communion of saints. We are called to holiness. We are called to sainthood. We are called to God’s service. No one is missing. No one is left out… we are one family of God. Let us thank God for all the holy men, women and children who have prepared the way to Jesus for us. They show us that God is in our midst!”
Indeed, let us rejoice and be glad
knowing that the light at our core is shining bright
(even if a jack-o-lantern needs to remind us)!
Happy Halloween! Happy All Saints!