Never Forget Who You Are
Feast of All Saints (Cycle B)

Doug McManaman
Reproduced with Permission

Today is the feast of All Saints. This is an important feast, for we believe in the Communion of Saints. What does this mean? It means there is a family of saints, thousands of saints, and they are our older siblings. You and I have older brothers and sisters who lived in previous times, suffered hardship, professed the same faith in Christ, entered into communion with the same Christ in the Eucharist, which is what we are about to do here.

When they received communion, they became one body in Christ, that is, they joined to his flesh. When we receive communion today, we join to Christ, to his flesh. But we also are joined to the saints. We are in communion with them, because both they and we have entered into communion with Christ.

The saints are close to you and me. They pay attention to you, more than you realize. They pray for you, they love you, they watch over you. And so you and I can and should pray to them, like we would talk to our own brother or sister. We can pray to St. Dymphna, patroness of those with mental disorders, or St. Padre Pio, who suffered tremendously throughout his life, or Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, or St. Catherine of Siena, or St. John of God, etc. They are there for us, for you and me to experience the comfort and consolation of belonging to a huge family, a family of siblings who look out for us and long to help us in ways we cannot even imagine at this point.

You and I are called to be saints, and our sufferings and sicknesses can help us become great saints, if we allow them to, if we offer them to God, in union with Christ’s sufferings.

Never forget who you are. Do not forget your dignity. You are his, he has claimed you for his own. He dwells in you, in your sufferings. He has asked you to keep company with him, while he suffers great mental anguish on Holy Thursday night. Do not forget that you are his special friends. You have royal blood.

Imagine what it would be like to receive a call from a lawyer who tells you that you are an heir to a great fortune. The king of Belgium, for example, is a relative of yours, and he has great wealth. When he passes on—which will be soon—, his kingdom will be yours. All of it: castles, land, forests, paid servants, riches beyond your wildest imagination. Think of how happy you’d be to receive that news. You’d be ecstatic.

Well, I’m that lawyer, and I’m here to tell you that you are heirs to a great fortune. You have royal blood. The King of kings is giving his entire kingdom to you. It will be yours when you pass on. How do I know? It says here, in the gospel that was read today, on this feast of all saints, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs”. You are the poor in spirit; in fact you above all are the genuinely poor in spirit – those who recognize their utter need for God. He said that His kingdom is yours. When you enter that kingdom, you won’t be sick, you will be perfectly healthy, and you will have riches beyond your wildest imagination, and His kingdom will have no end.

You only have to endure, pray always, love God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your strength, and love your neighbour as yourself, hate no one, and he will sit you down to a royal feast and will serve you, and bless you with an eternal life of unimaginable happiness. I look forward to that day. Amen.