Summary: As we celebrate The All Saints Day so we are made aware of the living saints of toady. Christ challenges us as he pronounces us Blessed In the Beatitudes, a template for the living saints of our world. Next time you hold a mirrow or stand in front of one,
For centuries the first Sunday in November has been marked in the Christian Calendar and lectionary as the All Saints Sunday, and celebrated across the Christian Churches world wide. If a Sunday is catholic, this is it. All Saints Sunday is truly universally celebrated not because we were instructed to celebrate it by the church universal, or by any creed or theology, nor by any papal edict, no, not at all, All Saints Sunday is universally celebrated because although it speaks and celebrates saints of the past, well, it also speaks to our time. You see, we live in a world full of celebrity worship, where money and artificial fame takes the centre stage, the celebration of All Saints day allows us to once in a while distinguish between Saints and celebrities, and I mean the Saints of today, and they are a lot of them. The Church and the world at large are impoverished in our thinking if we hold the honouring of the saints of the past in isolation of that of the present.
Our daily newspaper is full of contemporary celebrities in search of happiness; the bible is full of examples of saints who already attained happiness.
This brings me to one of our readings today, the All Saints Sunday.
In the gospel of Matthew Chapter 5 v 1-12, records one of the most beautiful poems of all time, beautiful as much as spiritual from our master and Lord. Aptly, re-named ‘the beatitudes’ meaning ‘be’ ‘attitudes’, in other words ‘the attitudes that be’ if one is to attain to the level of sainthood. The Lord Jesus Christ is not mixing his words when he declares the one who aspires to be a saint ‘blessed’ These are the descriptions of what it means to be blessed, let us read it once again:
“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The whole of the beatitudes are about the conditions of sainthood and if we as a church today aspire so to be then we better take heed the words of our Lord here.
Also, John the apostle records in his epistle, and quite apposite too, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3, 1-3
This is a picture of what it means to be a saint, John says we are God’s children now and we ought to behave like one and be a saint in our world
As the generation of young people today immersed themselves totally to the glare of popular culture TV, programmes like the X factor, Come dine with me, and I’m a celebrity come dine with me, and not least among them, the Big brother, one is reminded of the dangers of fame-seeking, popularity-at-all-cost, and the wanton abandonment of ethics and vice in the face of a get rich quick ideology that leads to sadness. The more TV advertisement and programmes pursue these vain and fruitless exercise of build-them-up and break them later for headline tabloids, the more it human frailties than any of us can cover up.
Brothers and Sisters, today, as the All Saints day, Celebrities are no saints, some of them have a 15minute fame and by the next day are forgotten, Saints, which our Lord challenges us to be, not only share our common ideologies, but they live forever in our heart and memory.