Solemnity of All Saints
Saints. The “holy ones” are those made holy by receiving the “holy things” – that is, by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb – the table of the Lord, the altar. Made worthy by His sacrifice at Calvary, participating in that sacrifice by grace, lived in the sacrament of penance. Sharing in the fruits of His Body and Blood – having their, having our, sins forgiven; sharing in the fruits by being transformed into the “holy things” we receive. Saints.
St. Paul writes to “the saints” and indeed we who are being sanctified share in that title, but not yet formally, not yet definitively, for we are in the state of pilgrimage, we are in the state of warfare, we are part of the Church Militant, we have not yet attained to the Church Suffering (in purgatory) or Triumphant (in heaven). But that is our hope, and with God’s grace, that is where we are bound – ultimately heaven, of course, as purgatory is its vestibule.
Today we celebrate especially the vast throng of those whose names have not been officially recognized, whose names are not listed on the earthly list of saints, the canon – and so have not been canonized. But who did realize their baptismal promises, who kept their baptismal garments white, “washed in the blood of the Lamb.” We rely on their intercession for us – for “we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses – to help us all the way home. “And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, Jesus…..” The Beatific Vision awaits: the great company, our holy family in Heaven, are calling. Let us move steadily homeward.