Solemnity of all Saints is not for the Saints Vol 4, No.15

I am moved by the sacredness of today to break the historical series of the Church which tecsthought has embarked on since last month. Traditionally, the Holy Mother Church has four solemn days of obligation. These are days regarded also as Sunday. They include Christmas, Ascension, Assumption and All Saints. The last of these four solemn days got me intrigued to question: of what relevance to the Saints are our reverence? But before I start to expand this question, I wish to make some clarifications on the personality of these heavenly beings. These are people who what we are today (Christians), they were and what they are now (saints), we hope to be. They seeked the face of God successfully while on earth. So successful that they now see God face to face, a state of divine encounter in which every human desires disappears. They placed their only hope on God above every worldly possessions and their complete dependence on God won God’s special attention to them. They frowned at evil deeds. Unlike those who see corruption and injustice as opportunity to acquire wealth, their joy was to do the will of God and care for the poor and needy. They embraced righteousness as a virtue that cut across the eight beatitudes. They became Blessed because they chose to be poor in spirit, to be meek, merciful, pure in heart, peace makers and persecuted for the sake of righteousness. This sort of blessedness is the joy that has no end. It is not given and taken by the vicissitudes of life. It is complete, permanent, irreducible, untouchable and immutable. It is the crown of unfading glories given by God alone.
Here comes again my question : if these gracious people of God have attained this blessedness from God who chose to fulfill the truth of his Son’s promise, of what profit to them are our prayers and the honors we give? Of what use is this feast day? Considering the glorious beatification the are already enjoying, our songs of praise do not avail them anything nor do they need our honour or anything our service can offer. Surely we are the one to benefit when we venerate their memories.
At this juncture, I wish to present two values that we hope to achieve when we venerate the memory of the Saints. Firstly, such veneration inspires us and urges us to be fellow citizens with the household of the Blessed, to take our place in the gathering of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and the ranks of the prophets, to be at home in the assembly of the apostles, and in the numerous hosts of the matyrs, welcome in the college of confessors and choirs of virgins. In a word, to be united in the communion of all Saints. Our harmless ambition therefore is not only for fellowship with the Saints but also for a share in their joy and eternal happiness. The second wish that inspires us when we commemorate the Saints is that Christ who is our life, may manifest himself to us as he did to them in order that we may manifest with him in glory.
So, let us strive to attain this glory with a passionate desire and an ambition that is entirely praiseworthy. And that we may lawfully hope for it and reach out for such blessedness. Meanwhile, the prayers of saints are eminently desirable, for what we cannot attain by our own unaided efforts, are granted to us by their intercession. Thanks to the liturgical song of David in Psalm 24:3-4, where he briefly gave us the criteria for the solemn entry into this Holy Place.

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