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A reflection for the Solemnity of All Saints

By Fr. William Rowland, CJM

We need to know that the journey we make to God is not one we make alone.  There are many, many others who have made this journey, leading lives of self-sacrifice and forgiveness, witnessing to the goodness and glory of creation, laying down their lives as prophets and peacemakers. We need a lot of heroes, and God has given them to us: the communion of saints. We want to become saints who live out our baptismal commitment.

People who allow God's relationship to them to have more meaning, more weight, more influence in their lives than anything else. People who finally come home to be with God forever.Throughout the year, we recall the great saints, the people who won canonization because their holiness reached heroic statue. They are the trailblazers of faith, the people who depended only on God. We admire the great, but it's sometimes hard to identify with them.

And so today we recall that heaven is not populated only by superstars, but mostly by people who are much like you and me ordinary folks. Those who managed little heroism but were constantly driven by holiness, for something more than the world around them ordinarily offered.

Many of them we know personally: The elderly neighbor who always had time to let a child "help." The teacher who did more than just pass out grades. The friend who refused to laugh and put down others. The parent or grandparent who valued honesty and human concern above quick money. Their desire for holiness, for goodness, for justice, and for joy in the face of suffering,has all infected us.

So we celebrate the glory that is now theirs. We remember them today because they touched our lives and made their desires our own. And we celebrate the glory that is now theirs. We are called to the same glory.

We are God's children now, still waiting to see what awaits us. So, our challenge is to live like the saints we are, by living the same Beatitudes that our heroes lived.

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