Hope and Goodness

11-01-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

This weekend our Sunday Mass pivots to a very important feast, the Feast of all Saints. Liturgists in our church tradition who plan out the vision and priorities of how our Church calendar of worship will be on Sundays always have a very hard time deviating from the strict values that a Sunday is a Sunday and a feast day basically is always less than Sunday, the great Feast of the Resurrection. I am very glad that occasionally common sense breaks through this rigid vision and we do celebrate certain marvelous feasts on Sunday. For us this year this feast day is a graced reminder of how wonderful our God cares for us through this Pandemic. This feast day is a day of hope, light, and grace among us, not only in times past but right now today, and also in the future. Our Church leaders choose to share with us a vision of the inner heart of people and their daily lives. Indeed we know that it is impossible to name all the official saints of our Church for in just the last thirty years alone, the list is beyond the limits of our knowledge.

Today, this feast day is much more important because it is the feast day for the unnamed saints on whom this world depends for its very life. Some so many people make the news for being “philanthropic”, “influencers”, and “leaders” with all sorts of titles, but when you come down to it, the moneyed and powerful often are not the ones who really help you. Think about the medical aide or the nurse who is at this moment quietly helping in the COVID area in the hospital. Their care is what really matters to you and me. The teacher who is desperately trying to teach in the classroom, remotely to part-time students and also the full time at home students: these are the saints in our midst. Are you aware that the people who have been stocking the food shelves, cleaning the carts, or cashiering your food are also saints? Stop and look: see the many who help or assist you each day in so many ways.

Our second reading this weekend reminds us that we are children of God. Indeed John re-minds us that being so does not mean that our lives will always be easy and fun. We are asked to put our faith in the Lord and push forward with living. He asks to realize that one day we will see God face to face and to maintain hope until that day. No matter what, we are to live a life that is constructive and giving, much like a saint.

In our Gospel Jesus also speaks of our present and future in how to live our lives, in how to be a saint each day. He tells us how by a talk called “the Sermon on the Mount.” When Jesus spoke that day, people leaned in real close to hear. Will you lean in today to hear in your heart and mind the words of Jesus in his eight Beatitudes?

The words of the Beatitudes are beautiful, but not always easy to live. They are not meant as quotes to show up in greeting cards, bumper stickers, or on social media. They are ways to follow the Christian and Catholic Way of Life. They are ways to be a saint every day of our life.

Our first reading from the Book of Revelation tells us that thousands upon thousands do in fact follow the Way of Jesus. We know this to be true when we stop and look at who is helping us so quietly during this Pandemic. There are saints among us every day who help us. All we have to do is to look with the eyes of faith and see them. This feast is about hope and goodness. There are many people each day offering us hope and goodness. Let us see them, acknowledge them, and then offer a prayer of gratitude in faith for them.