Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-2
Welcome to today’s devotional. Rev. 7:9 says, “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” This uncountable great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language are not just in heaven but they are the cloud of witnesses that surround us. They are in heaven and also spiritually with us on earth, simply because they are part of us. Together with them we form one covenantal family in which Jesus is the head. As members of one covenantal family in Christ, the Saints who have left the world to attain the vision of God in heaven are our ancestors, so they form part of our spiritual family root and lineage. Being part of our Christian family root, do the Saints have any role to play in the lives of those of us who are still alive? The answer is yes, just as our natural biological ancestors do have influence on the living generation of a family lineage, so are the Saints. What role do the Saints play in the lives of living generation of believers? Our scriptural reference today calls them cloud of witnesses. The Saints play the roles of witnesses to us. What is the role of a witness? A witness has important knowledge/information about a case, event or a reality. In a law court, justice cannot be done without witnesses providing evidence for the court to act upon. So witnesses make necessary and valuable contributions to a system of justice. Witness is an important constituent of the administration of justice. By giving evidence linking to the charge of the offence, the witness performs a sacred duty of assisting the court to discover the truth.
For this reason, Moses and Elijah appeared to bear witness to the “messiahship” of Jesus Christ to the apostles at the Mountain of Transfiguration. Through their witnesses, the Saints encourage us to keep the fire of faith burning. Through their witnesses they confirm to us that the reality of a crown of glory awaits us if only we can fight the good fight to the end. Through their witnesses they give us hope and support that holiness is still possible. The witness should therefore be treated with great respect.
On the Feast of All Saints, we remember, honour and thank God for the lives of all those who have attained heaven. As we remember the Saints today, we too are reminded that our primary calling or vocation is to become saints that is, we are called to be holy. Holiness is a compulsory requirement and condition needed to see God. Holiness is a matter of living in the Holy Spirit. Little wonder Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Let’s end this reflection with the words of St. John Paul II: “Do not be afraid to be the saints of the new millennium! Be contemplative, love prayer; be coherent with your faith and generous in the service of your brothers and sisters, be active members of the Church and builders of peace. To succeed in this demanding project of life, continue to listen to His Word, draw strength from the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Penance. The Lord wants you to be intrepid apostles of His Gospel and builders of a new humanity.”
Rev. 7: 2-4. 9-14; Ps 24: 1-2. 3-4ab. 5-6; (R. 6a);1 Jn 3: 1-3; Accl Mt 11:28; Mt 5: 1-12a
ALL SAINTS S. HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION.
- Dear heavenly Father, You are a holy God and I desire to be holy too; set apart unto You, and living my life in a manner that is worthy of You and pleasing to You. Search my heart I pray, and if there is any cherished sin lurking within, I ask that You would root it out, for I know that only the one that has clean hands and a pure heart may stand in Your presence. Purify my heart, cleanse my inner thoughts and examine the very motives behind my acts and attitude, for I desire to live in holiness of heart —and if there is anything that is displeasing to You in my life.; I ask that in Your grace You would root it out, so that I may live in godly holiness all the days of my life, clothed in Christ’s righteousness, separated unto You and walking in godly love —this I ask in Jesus name. Amen.
- Take the Prayer of St. Padre Pio. In Section A
Exercise: Meditate on Ephesians 5:3.
Memory Verse: Revelation 7:14