My brothers and sisters in Christ,1
Today as I was saying and you all know, we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. The saints that have been canonized by the Church but also the saints that have not been officially canonized by the Church but are in heaven.
And as we know they are men and women who lived holy lives on earth and some we know them — because they were canonized, as I said — but some we do not know them because they were not canonized. But they are in heaven! And as we know, all the saints are in heaven.
I always say that All Saints is also our feast day — the feast day of every Christian, every Catholic. Because all of us are called to be saints.
And that’s not just some nice talk — it’s the call of our lives. It’s why God made us — to be saints! We are all called to go to heaven and as I said, saints are in heaven.
So, we are really called to be saints!
Sometimes it’s a challenge for us to understand that because we think that the saints were special people and they did extraordinary things. But really when we reflect on the lives of the saints we see that they were totally normal people but they really set the call of their lives in going to heaven.
I had the blessing just this past month of October to be in Rome for the canonization of seven new saints for the Church — among them now St. Pope Paul VI and also St. Oscar Romero. So, it was a beautiful ceremony and we really celebrated the life of those seven new saints for the Church.
So, the first reading of today’s Mass helps us to see where we are going. We have the vision of heaven. And we see all the angels and saints, and as we just heard — “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue.” This is what Jesus came to do — to make the whole world a “city of saints.”
How do we get to be saints?
Well, trying to be consistent with our faith and trying to become saints on earth. And that is what God wants from us — for your life and for mine.
When we see the saints that are here in these beautiful tapestries in our beautiful Cathedral, you see many of them that are canonized saints and some that are not officially canonized. And that represents, again, all of us.
So, it’s really a moment to think how each one of us is called to be a saint.
Saints, as I said, are just normal people, like you and me. What makes a difference is saints really believe two things – first that they are children of God.
As St. John reminds us in the second reading of today’s Mass: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.”
When you think about it — I am a child of God! God loves me personally! Now we understand how important we are and where we are called to be members — good members — of the family of God.
It means that we live like Jesus, who was the Son of God. It means that we try to live according to God’s plan, according to the teachings of Jesus — loving God and loving our neighbors and trying to glorify God by our lives.
So today, let’s ask especially for the grace to really understand — each one of us — that we are children of God. That God is my Father. And again, that each one of us is very special to God.
And then the second thing, from the passage of the Gospel, saints take seriously what Jesus is talking about in today’s passage of the Gospel — the Beatitudes.
The Beatitudes are the picture of what it means to be a saint — because the Beatitudes are a picture of what Jesus was like. And he is our model. He is the one showing us how to be a “child of God.” Jesus is the face of God and the true face of what it means to be human.
So, we’re children of God and we’re called to be like Jesus, in a practically way, living in our daily lives the beatitude.
Remember “beatitude” that word means “happy.” And this is to road to happiness that we are looking for. If we want to be happy, we need to try to live like Jesus.
If you ever have a question — about how to live, about what to do in a specific, given situation — talk to Jesus. Think about his words and the stories from his life. Try to do what Jesus would do.
This will bring you happiness, personally — to each one of you, to each one of us — and then it will bring the Kingdom of God to earth. To our daily life.
And then, in that way, we all can really understand what it means to be a saint — and what it means to try to be a saint starting right now.
So, let’s ask Mary Our Blessed Mother for her intercession. May she help us to follow our vocation to be “everyday saint,” — convinced that God is our Father and that we are beloved children of God. And then to really be people of the Beatitudes, who love God and serve him by sharing his love in our families, with the people that we live, and with our work.
1. Readings: Rev. 7:2-4, 9-14; Ps. 24:1-6; 1 John 3:1-3; Matt. 5:1-12.