November 1, 2019 – All Saints’ Day

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of all the nameless Saints.  As Revelation says, “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”.

If we are to reflect on the symbol of their white robe and palm branches, we would understand them better.  The white cloth makes reference to the baptismal purity, joy, and resurrection.  The newly baptized are always clothed with white cloth to show the new life in Christ.  Today, for all the saints to be wearing them means that saints are those who have remained faithful to their baptismal vow and made efforts not to taint their lives with sin.

The palm branches they hold in their hand is a sign of victory.  They ended their lives’ battles victoriously, surviving the great distress and washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb.  Just like in every battle, they remained in absolute obedience to Christ, the battle commander.

Dearest sisters and brothers, like these saints, we are called to absolute obedience to Christ through life of fidelity.  To be faithful to Christ in this present life is to be blessed.  Life of mourning, meekness, hunger and thirst for justice, mercy and peace-loving are all ways of participating in the divine life.

People sometimes think that life without pain and suffering is synonymous with joy.  In reality, that is false as Jesus makes us aware in the gospel.  It is only a life lived for God that is really blessed and joyful—a life ready to sacrifice and bear pains for others for the sake of God.

The saints we honor today know that so well.  None of them is where he or she is today because of ease but because of faithfulness in spite of the challenges.  Like the saints, today’s celebration calls us to faithfulness in deed and thoughts.  These saints made the world beautiful, filled it with warmth, light, and hope.  They witnessed God’s love in their lives. Let us imitate them in present lives too to be tomorrow where they are now.