Homily for the Solemnity of All Saints Year A
Theme: We shall be like Him
By: Fr. Luke Ijezie
Homily for Sunday November 1 2020
Apoc 7:2-4,9-12; Psalm 24:1-6; John 3:1-3; Matt 5:1-12.
1. It is not uncommon to hear many people describe their life situations as hopeless. It has often also become fashionable to present only a bleak and murky future because of the perceived miserable conditions of the present. In the face of this whirlwind of pessimism, we need to be reminded that the Christian life is based on hope. It is the hope of a future beyond description. Without this hope life would be unlivable. It is a hope that makes present torments and pain appear as stepping stones to glory. We need to keep this hope ever alive in our society that presents more and more the very things that provoke the sense of despondency. All the readings of today direct our gaze towards this future of blessedness and tranquillity. The great message is that despite all the trials of the moment, the future remains bright and glorious. We shall be like God when that blessed day comes.
2. In the Gospel, Jesus presents the Beatitudes which all show the present situations of trial as privileged steps to the beatific life in the future. The interesting feature in all the beatitudes is that they present life situations that are characterized by pain and perseverance. But these situations rather than being causes of despair are the necessary conditions for the happy future. They speak of those crushed in spirit by poverty, those who mourn, those suffer silently because of their gentility, those who struggle for a world of righteousness, those who feel with the suffering and marginalized by showing mercy, those who sacrifice many things to remain pure, those who painstakingly work for peace in the society, those who undergo persecution for pursuing right causes, all those who are victims of abuse and calumny for the sake of Christ. All these classes of people suffer presently, and their life conditions appear miserable, but they are the ones with the best future. They should rejoice and be glad for their reward is great in heaven. This is a great encouragement for all who struggle amidst pains and torments to live a decent life and make the world a better place.
3. These same class of people are the ones the first Reading from the book of Apocalypse describes as those who have survived the great tribulation, those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. They are too numerous to count, and come from all races and languages. This is great hope in the midst of affliction.
4. The second Reading from 1 John sums it all when it says that, as children of God, we shall be like God. The text calls us to ponder how much God loves us by letting us be called God’s children. This unique identity is a cause of great joy and confidence, knowing that the present situation cannot be compared with what lies ahead.
5. As the Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints today, we are invited to live with the consciousness that we are children of God and citizens of heaven. We are invited to look beyond the present realities and live like people who have a glorious future that is yet to unfold. We are invited to shun all attractions of vanity and hubris that only succeed in obscuring our vision so that we don’t see the more glorious reality that lies ahead. In a society that keeps dividing us through many forms of reciprocal hatred and and vain pursuits, may the consciousness of being children of God inspire us to live more coherently in righteousness and love as brothers and sisters!
Fr. Luke Ijezie