Today, we celebrate the Church’s Hall of Fame- those who have been canonized and recognized by the Church as Saints, those living in heaven. We are all on the same team, but they are our most valuable players, our role models.
These are the men and women who have given their lives for Christ. They have a human history-just like us- the Apostles, the Blessed Mother, St. Francis of Assisi, St Joan of Arc, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the founder of Catholic schools, and Mother Theresa. Some are doctors of the church, recognized as teachers; others are martyrs, persecuted and killed for their faith. What a great honor it is for us to be celebrating their sainthood; and what a great honor it is for them, to be interceding for us, because they have been achieved heaven.
Today is set aside as a holy day of obligation not only to honor them, but to celebrate the great hope they are for us. We learn through them that following Christ with all of our mind, heart, and soul is possible. We learn through them that our lives have a purpose, and that our purpose in life is achievable.
Saints are not superheroes; they did not have super powers; they could not fly around the world, or crush steel; or stop locomotives. They were ordinary men and women who decided that giving their lives up for Christ was worth it. Pope Francis has encouraged us to see the saints among us; those who sacrifice for others; that who are faithful to Christ even in the midst of suffering.
The Gospel today, the Beatitudes, describes the saints- poor in spirit, humble, pure in heart; seeking the way of God in their lives.
What do saints do? Since God is always a God of life, we know that they have life, and they pray for us. That is what intercession of the saints means. You will hear it in the Eucharistic prayer tonight. We need their prayers.
We will see them at the Supper of the Lamb at the end of time.
Tomorrow, November 2nd is All Souls Day. During the month of November, we remember our ancestors, those who have gone before us to allow us to be here today. We can never forget that life is a gift. None of us had anything to do with our birth; we didn’t know we were being born.
We are here because someone cared for us.