“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.” 1 John 3:2
If you think of yourself as one of “God’s children” as John tells it, then you can give yourself an important title, too, worthy of your devotion to the Gospel. That title is saint.
Today on the feast of All Saints, we celebrate the union of lives well lived in the presence of Our Lord. We honor the giants from history who inspire us—I think of Elizabeth Ann Seton and Archbishop Oscar Romero as just two great saints of recent times. But I also remember the unsung saints who live among us in our families, our parishes, and beyond. Their lives are examples, too, of holiness and dedication to witnessing God’s saving grace. If you need a role model, there are many.
What’s important to remember is that sainthood on earth is how we prepare ourselves for sainthood for all time. As with most things, the transformation we long for is in God’s hands. We can’t know exactly how we will be welcomed home by the saints of heaven. But we know that for God the last word is always life, not death. To quote a saint of some renown:
“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,
this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:9
As you celebrate sainthood today—including yours—remember that life is renewed in the here and now. Each act of charity, every gesture of healing and compassion brings us closer to one another and the eternal life we so desire.
Friend, I will pray for you today in thanksgiving for your sainthood. And I will remember your beloved deceased tomorrow on the feast of All Souls. I don’t have every detail, but I know that one day you will be reunited with them for all time and your faith will be richly rewarded.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 1st Sunday
All Saints Day
All saints and angels, martyrs and prophets
sing Your praises, Lord God of all creation,
and inspire us who still struggle here below.
Strengthen us with their prayers
and guide us with their example
that we too might join in their hymn of praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts.
You come to us where we are
but You do not leave us there.
You call us to be better and be more
by Your grace and providence.
Help us to submit to Your will,
Lord, and overcome sin and selfishness.
May we be filled with true holiness
not so much having all people
see God in us, but rather
having us see God in all people
till we all join the company of saints
in heaven forever.
Hosanna in the highest.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso