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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Reflection 2020-11-01 All Saints Day

Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 24; 1 john 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
All the angels and Saints
Coronation of Mary with the Saints of Heaven

The First Reading gives us a glimpse of heaven, where a great multitude that no one could count stand before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white. They cried out in a loud voice “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” This is what heaven will be like, saints worshiping God. One of the elders asked John Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from? The elder replied to his own question: These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Clearly, we know there are a multitude in heaven. Many people want to go to heaven. But will everyone enter heaven? The Psalm today asks: Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? It also answers itself: He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up their soul to what is false. Not everyone will enter heaven. St John confirms this when he said in the Second Reading: all who have this hope in God purify themselves, just as he is pure. The hope John speaks of is the hope to be like God and see him as he is.
We enter heaven, not because we are good, or have done great things. We enter heaven because we allow to purify us and make us holy. Holiness is a work of God and not our work. We cannot be holy without God’s help. Jesus shows us in the Gospel what a life of holiness is when he presents the Beatitudes, one of which is: Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. We cannot enter heaven unless our hearts are made pure by God with our cooperation.
Very often we hear people say about a person who has died, he is with God now or she is in heaven. Sad to say, this is not what Catholics believe. We want and hope they are with God and in heaven, but we cannot be sure, because we do not know their hearts at the end of their lives. This is why our goal in life is not success in our career, nor is it to have many titles to our name. Our goal in life is to be holy. Whether we go to heaven or hell is going to be our choice. Do I have that desire to see God, that I allow him to purify my heart, or do I continue to hold on to my wrong beliefs, my own ideas and my own will? As I said, we do not go to heaven because we are good persons. We go to heaven because we allow God to make us holy.
A saint is someone who is in heaven. While the Church proclaims some people as saints, there are many more, only known to God, who are in heaven, that we do not know. We celebrate them today. And hopefully, when our time comes, we will also be caught up to face God and see him face to face.
Lord, here I am, searching for you, seeking you. Purify my heart. Cleanse my heart, so I can see you as you are. I offer to you my death. Let it glorify you and always, lead me to you. Never abandon me Lord. All the angels and saints, pray for me. Lead me to Jesus.

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