November 1: ALL SAINTS, Solemnity
We Are Saints in Waiting
The Solemnity of All Saints must remind Christians in a formidable way of God’s overwhelming love for us and the reliability of his promise. God is trustworthy in every way. Indeed he made us gods (Ps.86:2; Jn.10:34) only a little lower than himself (Ps.8:5). He made us to live with him forever in the heavens. Our true homeland is in heaven. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil.3:20).
What will it cost us to claim our citizenship and inheritance in the kingdom? Christ paid the price for us, already. He is the gate of the sheepfold. Anyone who enters through him will be safe (Jn.10:7-9). Repeatedly, Christ reminds us he is the Way, the Truth and the Light and the Life (Jn.14:1-31). Christ promised us “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto myself (Jn.12:32). What further proof do we need that he has qualified us to be coheirs with saints in the light (Col.1:12)? Christ has been lifted high on the cross for our salvation to facilitate our smooth transfer from the kingdom of darkness into his kingdom of light (Col.1:13). No one has come too late to inherit that promise (Heb.4:1-11). In addition, in the Beatitudes Christ has mapped the way forward to the kingdom of the saints.
If we adhere to the virtues, the values, the valour prescribed for our justification, purification, and our exaltation in the Beatitudes, rest assure that our place is secured in the kingdom with the saints. God never fails those who love him and keep his word. God himself and Christ Jesus will come to dine with them (Jn.14:23; Apoc.3:20).
The narrative of Apocalypse 7:2-4.9-14 bears eloquent testimony to this truth. The multitude already gathered in heaven celebrating the goodness of God arrived there because the lived by the precepts of the Beatitudes. They endured the great persecution; they have kept their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb (Apoc.7:14).
Apocalypse 7:14 is a summary of the Beatitudes. It simultaneously recalls the enrobing at baptism when the Church admonished us to “see in this white garment an outward sign of our Christian dignity” and should keep it unstained until the Lord’s second coming. In other words, the saints whom we celebrate in heaven today tell us it is possible to remain faithful to our baptismal promise and if we do, then one day like them we too will celebrate the victory of the Lamb with them in the presence of the Lord.
It is an extraordinary privilege to be called children of God. A glorious future awaits us in eternity. This is a promise and a hope we cannot falter on. Christ Jesus in the Beatitudes outlined for us the trials, the rejections, the sufferings we must endure. If we persist to the end, we will be called children of God and we will inherit the kingdom of God. The celebration of all Saints says the promises of the Beatitudes are indisputably true. Thus, the Apostle John begs us likewise to hold on to the promised of God. Protect our Christian identity and integrity and soon, we too will shout “’ Victory to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb (Apoc.7:10)!
O God, purify me and I shall be cleansed and ready for the day when the saints will be called up yonder.