Solemnity of All Saints

Vietnamese Cardinal Van Thuan spent 13 years in prison from 1975 to 1988 under the communist government. During his time of imprisonment he penned a series of brief meditations, words of encouragement for the members of his church from whom he had been separated. They were subsequently published as a book entitled ‘The Testiminy of Hope: Thoughts from a prison cell’. He writes in the book, “Saints do not become saints through acts of prophecy or performance of miracles. They do nothing extraordinary at all, other than faithfully carrying out their ordinary duties”. He goes on to say, “Some people look at the church today and see a crisis of faith. Others see a crisis of authority. Actually there is only one crisis: it is a crisis of holiness”. He may be implying there that we are failing to take seriously that we are all called to holiness and he is reminding us that the call to sanctity comes to us in the ordinary circumstances of our lives, in the present moment; it is there that we are given the opportunity to keep choosing the Lord. The saints whose feast we celebrate today show us that holiness is possible anywhere, anytime.The feast of All Saints encourages us to believe that any one of us could be part of that huge number impossible to count (Rev 7:9). In that sense, today’s feast is about every one of us. John, in today’s second reading, is speaking about all of us when he declares that, ‘we are already the children of God’, and that, in the future, ‘we shall be like’ God (1Jn 3:1-3). We are all destined for sainthood. We are all called to be saints, to be as loving a person as Jesus was, to allow our lives to be as shaped by God.
✍️ CB