Wednesday, October 31, 2012
'I want to be in that number' (All Saints)
Let’s not mess around. Being a saint isn’t hard.
It is impossible—that is to say, on a merely human level.
But with God’s help, with the help of frequent confession
and the sacraments, learning our faith,
yielding our pride to the will of Christ, putting him first…
We can—and we will—be saints.
Having the saints in our lives, and part of our spiritual life,
is one of the great things about being a Catholic.
All of us ask the question, how do I live my life the best way I can?
What does living for Christ look like, in my world?
And with the uncountable multitude of saints,
we have endless examples.
Whoever you are, wherever you are in life,
there is a saint whose life is like yours.
Sports saints, artist saints, scientist saints,
single saints, married saints,
saints rich and saints poor, saints in every profession.
Saints who got converted early,
and those who came in at last call.
How important to know who the saints are!
To teach our children about the saints.
When I go to the altar in a moment, I’ll use the Roman Canon--
and, yes, I will use the full list of the saints mentioned.
Time won’t allow me to go through that prayer in detail--
but I ask you to notice how the prayer expresses
the reality of what the Church--the Body of Christ--really is.
Here in this one place, we connect with believers everywhere
in the world, past, present and future.
We are praying with the saints in heaven--
and praying for the souls in purgatory.
The focal-point of our worship is right here, this altar.
At one point you’ll see me bow before Jesus on the altar--
and I’ll ask the Father to send his angel,
to “take” this offering to the altar in heaven.
What that makes clear is that the worship here
is a direct connection to worship in heaven.
If we could see it, what would we see?
In your imagination, can you see countless multitudes of saints,
above and around us, as we all worship the Lamb of God?
“Oh I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in!”