Gospel reflection: The saints all share one thing!

Solemnity of All Saints

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How many canonized saints do we have? With detailed research we could approximate an answer, but no matter! Today we remember all saints, an innumerable throng!

The 144,000 … 12 (the biblical number signifying completeness), squared — and then multiplied by 1,000! It’s the Book of Revelation’s way of saying “countless!”

Who are they? People of every race and nation and age and status: scholars, beggars, royalty, children, married, single, ordained, and vowed religious.

How do they come to be saints? Through the power of the blood of Christ. God’s love draws them all!

What do they look like? They may not be recognized as “successes” in our competitive culture. They are powerless, suffering, compassionate, hungering for justice, grieving losses and failures, passionate about peacemaking. The saints each have one or more of these characteristics. But one thing they share: They long to see the face of God. That is, they long for life as God desires it for all — and they live to help it happen.

We’ve known them: parents, colleagues, neighbors, friends, civic leaders, religious ministers, patients, caregivers. We read of them in stories of “unsung heroes.” So today, we honor them, by naming some and thinking of those whose names we do not know. We remember them all. We celebrate them all. And, perhaps, we imitate them!

— Sr. Honora Werner, OP


Revelation 7:2–4, 9–14

Psalm 24:1BC–2, 3–4AB, 5–6

1 John 3:1–3

Matthew 5:1–12A

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