BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe



The Holy Church, taken in its totality, is made up of three parts: the militant Church, the triumphant Church and the Church in purgative, that is, Purgatory. Today we commemorate the triumphant Church. They are the uncountable number of men and women who have lived an exemplary life while on earth and are now in heaven. They fulfilled the demands of the Gospel message, sacrificed worldly pleasures, and walked through the narrow gate into heaven. Some of them are married, some virgins, some religious, some priests, bishops, popes, some doctors, nurses, accountants, engineers, farmers, school teachers, professors, and from all other fields of life. They are people who came from “every nation, race, tribe and languages of the world. Some of them are related to us, while some came from distant countries. They now live in glory before the throne of God, worshiping God without ceasing. They are the saints in heaven. The Church has recognized and canonized some of them, while many others are yet to be identified as saints, but yet they are in heaven. These saints are those who had understood the Beatitudes not with their minds but with their hearts, and have lived it out in their daily lives while on earth. Their lives have become a testimony of God’s faithfulness and a proof that the death of Christ on the cross was not in vain.

As we honor the saints (today), let us not forget that we can also be saints if we decide to live a holy life. The journey to sainthood begins here on earth. The life we live today can become tomorrow’s biography of a saint, if we live it in the right way. The way we relate to our fellow human beings each day is very important. The value we place on the things of God speak volumes about us. The way we care for our souls is an indication of where we want our soul to be after our life on earth. We must always remember that the saints were ordinary people who followed and worshiped God with extraordinary love. They were not perfect people who committed no sin, rather they were those who realized that sin is dangerous, and decided to cooperate with the grace of God in order to overcome sin. They received forgiveness and became faithful witness of the kingdom of God. They were determined and made honest effort to be saints, and the grace of God assisted them. [(Today) the gospel reading tells us the secret of being a saint.] This secret of the saints lies not only in keeping the commandments of God, but also is following the guidelines of the beatitudes. We can all be saints if we avoid sin, and decide to live a holy life. God is ever willing to welcome us into his family. [Jesus has already prayed for us saying, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled” (Jn. 17:12).] We pray in this holy mass that through the intercession of all the saints, we may receive that grace to live a holy life so that at the end of our earthly life, we may be able to join the saints in heaven.

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