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.
They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:
“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
Today is All Saints’ Day — the day when we remember and honor the saints.
Do not be intimidated by the word “saint” — it simply means “holy”.
The Oxford Dictionary defines “holy” as a person who is dedicated to God, who is morally and spiritually excellent.
Today is the feast day of all holy persons, among whose ranks may be your family and friends who have passed away, whose numbers are far greater than those formally declared as saints by the Catholic Church.
Among the many things that distress me about the Church today is how rarely, if ever, priests make mention of the saints in their homilies. That puzzles me because the saints are our role models. They were, like us, wholly imperfect human beings. As an example, St. Jerome (331-420) is described as “By nature an irascible man with a sharp tongue” who “made enemies as well as friends” — which goes to show that one doesn’t have to be perfect to be a saint!
1 John 3:1-3
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.
Since saints are holy, and only holy people will see God face to face, that means we are all called to be saints.
This morning, on All Saints’ Day, I’ll say it outright:
I want to be a saint!
And I want all of you to be saints!
Please join me in making the same affirmation. And let us help each other to become saints.
For the lives of some saints, please go to our “Angels & Saints” page.
The Greatest Commandment is to love God with our whole hearts, our whole souls, our whole minds, and with all our strength.
May the peace and joy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,