Trusting in the Benevolent Grace of God

Week of October 30, 2016

This week the Universal Church gathers to renew itself in the greatest gift God has to offer and longs for us to accept—heaven. In the Feast of All Saints we gather to rejoice in the festival of heaven.  We gather to be reassured of the union of the saints with God.  Their lives and their journeys on earth are complete and they are offered the joy of the fullness of everlasting life, to be in the presence of God forever.  This gift is so powerful that they stand before us this day humbled to be an example and energized to have completed all that God asked of them.

On Tuesday we gather on this Holy Day to renew ourselves in the journey of faith we are called to live. We are to grasp inspiration from them.  We are to reflect on their lives, on the testimonies they have left us.  These are to be used as a ladder to the sacred.  Their lives are offered as a beacon of hope to us, reminding us a virtuous life may be lived. In our past days we have seen the joy of men and woman being raised up to be saints.  New saints for our generation now stand with the saints of the past to renew us in hope.  St. John Paul the Second began a papacy traveling out into the world. Many people, and especially the youth, through his presence at World Youth Day, have met or encountered a saint in our day and age. The lives of saints are no longer found on the dusty pages of the Middle Ages and Renaissance times.  New saints exist among us, lives have been lifted up before us.  St. Teresa of Calcutta was a person of simple means and poverty who brought forth the riches of the Kingdom by treating the lowest of the low with dignity.  Her life was sacred and holy.  On this day the focus of heaven reassures us that life is worth living.  Life has a focus if we allow the hunger for the union with God to propel us back into the world to live in the grace poured out for us in every Sacrament.

May all the saints of God join us as the festival reaches our hearts in our gathering here on earth; and may we join our hearts with the saints of God on the journey towards God’s Kingdom.

Reverend John J. Ouper