Monday, November 02, 2015

November 1, Feast of All Saints - Pope Francis

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning and happy feast!
In today’s celebration, the Feast of All Saints, we feel the reality of the Communion of Saints to be particularly alive, namely our great family, made up of all the members of the Church, be it those of us who are still pilgrims on earth, be it those – immensely more – who have already left it and have gone to Heaven. We are all united, and this is called “Communion of Saints,” namely the community of all the baptized.
In the liturgy, the Book of Revelation recalls an essential characteristic of the saints and says this: they are persons that belong totally to God. It presents them as a multitude of “elect,” clothed in white and marked by the "seal of God” (cf. 7:2-4.9-14). Through this last particular, underscored with allegorical language, [it says] that the saints belong to God in a full and exclusive way; they are His property. And what does it mean to bear the seal of God in one’s life and in one’s person? The Apostle John also says: it means that, in Jesus Christ, we have become truly children of God (cf. 1 John 3:1-3).
Are we aware of this great gift? We are all children of God! Do we remember that in Baptism we received the “seal” of our Heavenly Father and became His children? To say it simply: we bear God’s surname, our surname is God, because we are children of God. Here is the root of the vocation to holiness! And the saints we remember today are precisely those who lived in the grace of their Baptism, they kept the “seal” intact, behaving as children of God, seeking to imitate Jesus, and now they have reached their goal because they finally “see God as he really is.”
A second characteristic proper to the saints is that they are examples to imitate. Let's pay attention: not only those who are canonized, but, so to speak, the “next door” Saints who, with the grace of God made the effort to practice the Gospel in the ordinariness of their life. We have also met these Saints; perhaps we had one in our family, or among our friends and acquaintances. We must be thankful to them and above all we must be thankful to God who has given them to us, who has put them close to us, as living and infectious examples of the way of living and of dying in fidelity to the Lord Jesus and to His Gospel. How many good people we have known and know, and we say: “But this person is a Saint!,” we say it; it comes spontaneously. These are the next door Saints, those not canonized but who live with us.
To imitate their gestures of love and mercy is somewhat like perpetuating their presence in this world. And, in fact, those evangelical gestures are the only ones that resist the destruction of death: an act of tenderness, a generous help, time spent listening, a visit, a good word, a smile ...These gestures might seem insignificant to our eyes, but in God’s eyes they are eternal, because love and compassion are stronger than death.
May the Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, help us to trust more in God’s grace, to walk with speed on the way of holiness. We entrust to our Mother our daily endeavor, and we pray to her also for our dead in the profound hope of meeting again one day, all together, in the glorious communion of Heaven.

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