ASPIRING TO BE SAINTS

THEME: ASPIRING TO BE SAINTS
READINGS: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14 / 1 John 3:1-3/ Matthew 5:1-12
November 1: ALL SAINTS’ DAY

When God sent His Son to save the world, He had a glorious plan in mind for all mankind. What was the plan?  The plan was that a great multitude that no one could count, from every race, nation, tribe, and language will eventually be with God in heaven.  Thus, according to today’s first reading, St. John testifies: “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” (Rev. 7:9).

Beloved, in the first place, this Bible passage assures us that God wants people of every race, and not just one race, to enjoy the glory of heaven. So, your race and my race and that of everyone else are included in the plan of God.  No one else is left out!

Secondly, this Bible passage affirms that God wants people of every nation, and not just some nations, to enjoy the glory of heaven. So, your nation and my nation and that of everyone else are included in the plan of God.  No one else is left out!

Thirdly, this Bible passage reveals that God wants people of every tribe, and not just some tribes, to enjoy the glory of heaven. So, your tribe and my tribe and that of everyone else are included in the plan of God.  No one else is left out!

Fourthly, this Bible passage affirms that God wants people of every language, and not just some languages, to enjoy the glory of heaven. So, your language and my language and that of everyone else are included in the plan of God.  No one else is left out!  Beloved, it should now be obvious that God has a place for all of us in His great plan of salvation.

Therefore, beloved, on this ALL SAINTS’ DAY, as we celebrate all the millions of people from every race, nation, tribe and language who are already rejoicing with God in heaven, we should be inspired to remain faithful to our God who alone makes the victorious entrance into heaven possible.

Furthermore, the first reading tells us that the saints “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14).  The colour white signifies purity or the holiness of the saints thanks to the sacrificial blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Yes, purity or holiness is required of those who are invited into the presence of the holy, holy, holy God.  Thus, according to today’s second reading, “when He [God] appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him, as He is.  And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).

Beloved, this heavenly purity or holiness is first and foremost received by grace.  That is, it is a gracious gift of God, since it is made available through the sacrificial blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  But then we must wear our white robes just as the saints we celebrate today wore their robes.  How do we do this?  Jesus Christ gives us the answer as recorded in the Beatitudes of His Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:1-12).  That is, the saints are blessed because they were poor in spirit, just, meek, merciful, peacemakers, and endured trials or persecutions for the sake of Christ.

Therefore, beloved, like the saints, let us wear the robes made white in the blood of Christ by being poor in spirit, just in our ways, meek of heart, merciful to all, peacemakers and steadfast in our faith in the face of trials or persecutions.  Finally, beloved, we are assured that when we thus serve the Lord God, He will count us among the saints when they go marching in heaven.  Amen!

By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis

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Fr. John Louis

Fr. John Louis

Very Rev. Fr. John Kobina Louis is a priest of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.

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Catholic Homilies and Sermons for the liturgical year by Rev. Fr. Dr. John Kobina Louis of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.

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