Solemnity of All Saints

Where I live there are yearly roundups. Cattle are wrestled to the ground and branded with owner’s mark. In the first reading in today’s Mass an angel calls out not “to harm the servants of our God until we imprint this seal on [their] foreheads.” So before the final act, is there going to be roundup time in heaven with angels nailing down “the servants of God”, claiming them with his own fiery brand?

Many – but certainly not most of the billions of these servants of God – will already sport brand or tattoo marks. Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders leave an “indelible mark” on the soul. And it was God who sought these souls out in this life to mark them as his special witnesses to Christ’s victory over sin and death.

Today we pray to the Father: “’Make us an everlasting gift and enable us to share in the inheritance of the saints, with Mary, the virgin mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs…’ And, Lord, when ‘the [heavenly] bloom is on the [celestial] sage’, grant that we be in the company of the branded and tattooed ladies and gentlemen of past, present and future ages, dressed in long white robes, holding palm branches in our hands, and maybe, while waiting for the final coming of your son, Jesus, singing something like the Halleluiah chorus from Handel’s The Messiah. Amen.”

November 1st, 2014