Today is the Solemnity of All Saints, the holy day of obligation where we celebrate and honor all souls that have received the beatific vision in Heaven. Why are those souls to be honored? Because it’s hard to get to Heaven. Especially hard given the influence of today’s society.
Saint John Chrysostom once responded to the question of how many people would be saved:
“What do you think? How many of the inhabitants of this city may perhaps be saved? What I am about to tell you is very terrible, yet I will not conceal it from you. Out of this thickly populated city with its thousands of inhabitants not one hundred people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that!”
So today we go to Mass and remember not only the spectacular lives of the Saints that we have heard of throughout the years, but also the lives of those that are unknown to us. Some of you might be wondering who these spectacular saints are that we haven’t heard from… some are merely lost to antiquity. Others are saints that you might not think of… that quiet, pious old lady that always showed up at Mass or in the line for Confession… the unborn children that never truly had an opportunity to gravely sin in life… the souls that weathered the cleansing of Purgatory and achieved Heaven. These souls are equally deserving of our veneration and respect when compared to the saints that you see Churches built to honor or that have Feast Days on the liturgical calendar.
I will spend my time this evening remembering these saints and reflecting on ways that I can make my life parallel theirs. It is today when we can reflect on the fact that the ultimate goal is Heaven, and we must do everything we can to get there and in doing so we honor those that have gone before us.
All Saints, pray for us.