A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS – CYCLE “B” – 11/1/15 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
I suppose that most titles, we can imagine in front of our name. After all, this is America, the land of opportunity. From early on, we are taught that we can do anything we want to with our lives, and that we can become anything that we want to become. So we grow up with everything is a possibility: Coach. Judge. Officer. Captain. General. Doctor. Mayor. Governor. Senator. President. These are all titles that perhaps we’ve dreamed about or imagined, at some point in our lives. Maybe, it’s what we dressed up as for Halloween, in the past. Dressing up as a coach, or a judge, or police officer, or a doctor, is a pretty easy, pretty common thing. But perhaps the title that we are most not used to, is Saint.
Why is it so hard to imagine ourselves as Saints? We know, that what God calls us to. We know, that when we get to Heaven, that all of us in Heaven will be Saints. I think that it is just that the Saints were all so holy. We put them up there pretty high, on those lofty, heavenly pedestals. Even most of the Saints, didn’t think that they were saints, when they were in this world. It is easier to imagine ourselves as President of the United States, or as a Professor, or as the Captain of a ship, than it is to imagine ourselves as Saints. Part of it is that Saints are supposed to be humble. It is hard to get humble people who are trying to live saintly lives, to admit that that’s their ultimate goal. But it is! Even in our humility, we are humbly praying asking Jesus to make us His Saints!
I assure you, the Canonized Saints of the Catholic Church ALL felt the same way! They too wondered if they were good enough. They too, fell down and made mistakes. The Saints weren’t perfect. The Saints ALL went to Confession! The Saints persevered every day in following Jesus Christ, and in letting Him take over their lives, more and more, every day! The Saints were like us! St. Jerome was grouchy. St. Thomas Aquinas like food just a little bit too much. St. Boniface liked beer. St. Francis of Assisi hated mice. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta hated to have her picture taken. The Saints were all very human people. And yet, God called them. And God empowered them. And God did heroic things through each and every one of them! And today we firmly believe that they are in Heaven with God, still doing His will today!
My brothers and sisters, this Feast Day, especially with it falling on Sunday this year, is to specifically remind each and every one of us that we too are called to be Saints! God want to work through us to do heroic things! God wants us to be examples for each other in the Church! God wants us to help enable those around us to also be holy! You know, it is amazing, how many Saints knew other saints! Many of them were friends! In many ways, holiness, sanctity, and sainthood are all contagious! You can get those things from your family and from your friends! In the Church today, we should be leading one another closer to Sainthood! Are we? Are your friends helping you to become a Saint? Or are they leading you farther and farther away from God? We all need good and saintly friends to help us to be better.
What’s also true is that we need to be working on becoming Saints ourselves. Many of us heard Fr. Carlos Martins, who gave the homily at the Vespers service when the relics of St. Maria Goretti were here, say that St. Maria Goretti CHOSE to be Holy. She CHOSE to say “yes” to God. She CHOSE to die rather than to sin. She CHOSE to forgive her attacker. St. Maria Goretti and the other saints CHOSE to be Saints every day! What do we CHOOSE every day? Who do we CHOOSE to follow?
My brothers and sisters, our Lord has chosen to call us. We are called to be Saints, or else we would not be here today. Now, today, next, we must CHOOSE to be Saints by the choices that we make in our lives every day. We can very easily have the title “SAINT” in front of our name, for all eternity! We can have the halo. We get our own holy card. We can be with Jesus forever in Heaven! All we have to do is to choose to follow Christ, every day!
+ May God bless us on this great Feast of His Saints, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!