01 November 2018; Crown of Life

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Solemnity of All Saints

Reading 1Rv 7:2-4, 9-14;  Gospel Mt 5: 1-12a

There is a story in the life of St. Theresa of Lisieux. She was attending a ceremony in the Church. When all were kneeling down she preferred to stand.  The priest who was presiding over the ceremony asked her to kneel down. That moment she said: “I will make him kneel in front of me.” What she meant was that she would become a saint and he would kneel in front of her image seeking her intercession. The desire to be a saint was burning within her throughout the short life here on earth. “The only thing I desire is to be a saint.” All Christians are called to be saints. Sanctity is not the monopoly of priests and nuns. Earlier there was the custom of calling all the faithful as saints. St. Paul in his letter would consider everyone who is a believer to be a saint. Vatican Two echoed this same belief when it spoke of the universal call to holiness. By celebrating the all Saints day, the Church today celebrates the millions of saintly souls who enjoy the beatific vision. We have the basis for it in the book of revelation. “Be faithful till the end and I will give you the crown of life.”

Today’s feast is an invitation and a reminder for us of our vocation to sanctity. Following the Gospel in its spirit would make one Holy. But this is not an easy task. Christian life is a challenge. Vivekananda, the great Hindu spiritual guru would say that Christianity is a religion for the Sanyasis, because it is not an easy religion. But to be holy and saintly is neither a luxury nor an exception for us Christians. By our very call as Christians we are called to be saintly and nothing less. Jesus makes it explicitly clear when he says, ‘Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

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