November 1, 2020

The call to sainthood is a universal one. While we live in this imperfect world, encumbered by the flesh, under imperfect circumstances, we are constantly called to perfection. “Be ye perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” Matt.5:48. The word perfection or holiness may sometimes sound lofty or even like an unattainable ideal, too intimidating to even think about. Yet, in truth, it is really not any more or any less that an invitation to be good. It is the relentless quest to model Christ in our daily conducts. Seek justice for all, forsake wickedness and embrace love. In summary, to do ordinary things with extra-ordinary love. Today, as the church celebrates All Saints, we think of the many men and women who, while having their fair share of human imperfections, were able to soldier on and to attain the crown of glory. We think of the likes of saints Peter and Paul, we think of Mary of Magdala and we think of Augustine of   Hippo. While we can all agree to the victory of God’s grace in their lives, aided by their personal collaboration, no one can deny their not so pristine past. In the end, what they can all teach us is that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future. They teach us of the relentless power of the grace and love of God which seeks us out even as we languish in the dungeon of sin. Nonetheless, while the grace of God may be entirely free, there should be a reciprocal openness to collaborate in a way that is worthy of such huge and inestimable gift. The first reading speaks of a people submerged in and have emerged from great distress in order to earn a place at the feast of the Lamb. They are the people washed in the blood of the lamb and dressed in white robes. They are the people who have been deemed worthy, in today’s Psalm, to climb the mountain of the Lord. The gospel describes them as merciful, meek, peaceful, pure in heart, kind, and just. Those virtues are the wedding garments spoken about three Sundays ago. We too can all earn our spots at that heavenly banquet. It certainly is not an easy task, it requires lots of sacrifices, but the grace of God makes it all possible. As we think about the choices in front of us, it is important to remind ourselves of the perennial question that Jesus posed in the gospels: “What does it profit a man [or woman] to gain the whole world and to lose his soul?” Mk.8:6.

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