SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS: MT 5: 1-12
Today, we are celebrating The Solemnity of All Saints. We are honoring and commemorating all the Saints of the Church who are known and unknown to us. Today we thank God for giving ordinary men and women a share in His holiness and heavenly glory as a reward for their faith. We may wonder: “Who are these saints?” They are the people who lived the values of the gospel. They have given their lives for the service of people and God. They are the people who ready to sacrifice their lives for others.
Let me share with you a story: One day, when a little child was refusing to eat her cereal and milk before going to school, her mother complained to her husband. The father said to the child that he would give her any gift, whatever she asked if she ate. The child agreed to eat. The child struggled and finished her meal. Then the father asked her what gift exactly she wanted. The child replied, “Daddy, I want to shave my head this weekend.” The father and her mother were so shocked and they tried to convince the six-year-old with no success. Finally, the parents allowed her to shave her head.
On Monday, the father went to drop her at school and soon a car stopped; a little boy came running to her with no hair on his head. The father was so shocked. Then the daughter explained to her father that her friend had cancer and the treatment made him lose his hair. He was shy and so she and two of her friends decided to shave their heads to keep him company. The parents had tears in their eyes, seeing the sacrifice made by little children to help their friend. They are THE LITTLE SAINTS, who are ready to sacrifice their lives for others.
Every day, we remember the saints, but this feast especially reminds us to recognize the unrecognized and unknown saints and martyrs. We believe in the communion of our creed. We profess this each and every time we pray our creed. The saints are our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. We remember their struggles and crosses, their teachings, and their examples of faith. Like each of us, they went through their own doubts, confusions, temptations, and trials. In our own lifetimes, we have witnessed and experienced the lives of Saints Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Pope John Paul II’s whole life contained suffering and pains and he showed the real meaning of suffering. Mother Teresa really witnessed the message of Jesus through her love and service for the poor, the sick, suffering, and dying. Also, like each of us, Mother Teresa went through her doubts and confusion. Even she questioned her own faith in Jesus. Through her darkness, she discovered this is not a dead-end but she saw a window of light, which lead her life to glorious resurrection.
In today’s gospel reading, the Beatitudes beautifully explain the meaning of the saints. Every Christian is called to be a saint, to have the qualities and virtues mentioned in the beatitudes. The Beatitudes offer us a way of life, inviting us to identify with the poor; those who mourn, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for justice. They challenge us to be compassionate people, to be men and women, who are pure in heart, and to become peacemakers in our dealings with one another, in our families, and in society at large.
“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” is the criteria for our Last Judgment. Mother Teresa and her sisters accepted this challenge and confirmed that: “We can live the beatitudes in the modern world.” Let us remember that each time we reach out to help the needy, the sick, and the oppressed, we share with them an example of the promises of the beatitudes, here and now. Let us ask ourselves: “Are we going to be happy in the world’s way or in Christ’s way?” Let us experience real happiness here at present and the same happiness, we will experience in our eternity!