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Readings and Homily All Saints 2022

Sunday, 6 November 2022


The Solemnity of All Saints – Cycle C
Readings and Antiphons on p. 1796 of the Daily Missal and p.1061 of the Sunday Missal.

Entrance Antiphon.

Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast in honour of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.

First Reading: Revelation 7:2-4.9-14

A reading from the Book of Revelation.

I, John, saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun,
with the seal of the living God,
and he called with a loud voice to the four angels
who had been given power to harm earth and sea
saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God
upon their foreheads.”
And I heard the number of the sealed,
a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed,
out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.

After this I looked, and behold,
a great multitude which no man could number,
from every nation,
from all tribes and peoples and tongues,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
and crying out with a loud voice,
“Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne,
and to the Lamb!”

And all the angels stood round the throne
and round the elders and the four living creatures,
and they fell on their faces before the throne
and worshipped God, saying, “Amen!
Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honour and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying,
“Who are these, clothed in white robes,
and whence have they come?”
I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
And he said to me,
“These are they who have come out of the great tribulation;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 24:1-2.3-4ab.5-6 (R. cf 6a)

Let us now pray the Responsorial Psalm

R/. These are the people who seek your face, O Lord.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world, and those who dwell in it.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the rivers he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The clean of hands and pure of heart,
whose soul is not set on vain things.

Blessings from the Lord shall he receive,
and right reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the people who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

R/. These are the people who seek your face, O Lord.

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-3

A reading from the First Letter of Saint John.

Brothers and sisters:

See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called children of God;
and so we are.
The reason why the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
it does not yet appear what we shall be,
but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him
purifies himself as he is pure.

The Word of the Lord.

Please stand for the Gospel.

Alleluia, Alleluia.
Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
Alleluia.

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12a

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

At that time:
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain,
and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you
and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Communion Antiphon.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Homily All Saints 2022

I love saints. They are the spiritual superheroes of our church.

  • The glorious communion of saints provides us with access to a massive list of prayer partners who pray with us and pray for us.
  • The list includes the official “greats” of our church history.
  • It also includes family and friends whose holiness and love directly touched and enriched our lives.
  • We all have our favorite saints we relate to and who inspire us.

We need these heavenly models of holiness.

  • We also need earthly models of holiness.
  • Saints are all around us, women and men whose generous spirit reflects the Gospel call to love and serve God and others.
  • Some do it by making the ordinary holy through a spirit of simplicity and humility.
  • Some do it by showing extraordinary courage in sickness and adversity.
  •  Some do it by working against injustice and working to bring equality and dignity to all.

The Book of Revelations today gives us an image of the Saints in heaven.

  • “a great multitude which no one could number,
    from every nation,
    from all tribes and peoples and tongues,
    standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
    clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands”
  • Then we have the question:
    “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?”
  • And I thought – good question

Then the elder answers the question:

  • “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation;
    they have washed their robes
    and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
  • This got me thinking: how can you wash robes in blood and have them come out white? 
  • Their white robes are given them because they were martyred.
  • They were martyred during the great persecutions for their faith in Jesus, the Lamb of God.
  • Now these “witnesses” (that’s what “martyrs” means) are saved from pain, hunger, thirst and persecution.
  • They are the people Jesus describes in the Beatitudes who, experience  present afflictions for their faith in him –
    • And so “will be comforted… will inherit the earth…will be satisfied, etc.”

Our ease with praying to the saints is a great blessing that we enjoy in the Catholic Church unlike most other Christian denominations.

  • Others recognize saints and are happy to pray with them to God as brothers and sisters,
    • but we pray to the saints, asking the saints to intercede for us, to pray for us to God, to present our petitions to God, to represent us to God.
  • This is a great blessing that we enjoy.
  • Perhaps many of us are already aware of the power of the intercession of the saints for us.
  • How many have received blessings from Our Lady.
  • How many have received favors from saints such as Padre Pio, who is now St. Pius of Pietrelcina.
  • How many have received blessings from St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
  • And there are countless other canonized saints that we can invoke to help us.

One thing that strikes us about the Saints is their diversity.

  • It would be very difficult to find one pattern of holiness, one way of following Christ.
  • There is Thomas Aquinas, the towering intellectual,
    • and John Vianney (the Curé d’Ars), who barely made it through the seminary.
  • There is Vincent de Paul, who worked among the poorest of the poor in the streets of towns and cities.
    • and there is Antony who found sanctity as a hermit in the desert.
  • There is Bernard of Clairvaux kneeling on the hard stones of the monastery in penance for his sins,
    • and there is Hildegard of Bingen, singing and throwing flowers, madly in love with God.
  • There is Peter, the emotional and no-nonsense fisherman, and there is Edith Stein, renowned philosopher and a Carmelite nun.
  • There is Joan of Arc, leading armies into war, and there is Francis of Assisi, the pacifist who would never hurt an animal.
  • There is the serious Jerome, renowned as a scholar and translator of the Bible. Jerome would get angry and sarcastic with people who spoke heresy about Jesus.
    • and there is Philip Neri, whose spirituality was based on laughter.
  • How do we explain this diversity?
    • God is an artist, and artists love to change their styles.
    • The saints are God’s masterpieces, and He never tires of painting them in different colours, different styles, and different compositions.
    • What does this mean for us?
    • It means we should not try to imitate any one Saint exactly.
    • Look to them all, study their unique holiness, but then find that specific colour God wants to bear through you.
    •  St. Catherine of Siena was right: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”  

On this feast of All Saints, we thank God for the saints,

  • I would like to encourage us to reflect on the importance and power of the intercession of the saints.
  • Find a saint friend in heaven if you do not already have one.
  • May I suggest that we cultivate a friendship with one saint in particular if we do not already have a saint friend.
  • Read about his or her life, some of his or her writings, ask him or her to take you under his or her protection.
  • Ask your saint friend to pray to God for you, to intercede before God for you, to guide you.
  • Saints are in heaven, so they are continually in the presence of God and see God.
  • Our second reading said of the next life, “we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2)
  • The saints have been completely healed of all the things that hold us back: our sinfulness, and our weaknesses.
  • There is nothing separating them from God.
  • They are uniquely positioned to pray and intercede for us.

And that is what we celebrate today,

  • the Spirit’s ongoing work of grace
  • that forms us into a holy community,
  • a community of saints.

From today’s reading from Revelation:

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

Reflection:

“What’s a saint?” A little girl, probably remembering the stained glass images in her parish church, said, “Saints are the people the light shines through.”

So we ask ourselves:

  • Who are my favorite saints and how do they shine the light of Jesus into my life?
  • How does my life shine for others?
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