The Best is Yet to Come
Solemnity of All Saints

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

The saints are the blessed ones. They have received blessings and they are channels of blessings.

Action starter: Is your presence showing a bit of heaven?

In one sense, the word “blessed” may mean fortunate. When a person is seriously sick and a good doctor comes, the sick man is told, “You are fortunate, the doctor is here.” Your blessing has come. In another sense, the term blessed may refer to the agent of blessing. Blessed is the doctor for coming. These two meanings of the word “blessed” are shown in what we know as the Beatitudes.

Today, the solemnity of all the saints, the Gospel speaks about who are the blessed ones. They are those who are poor, sorrowing, hungry, thirsty and persecuted (Mt. 5:1-12). They are fortunate because their time of liberation has come. With the coming of the Kingdom, they are to be enriched, comforted, fed, and freed. They are the recipients of blessings. In another sense, fortunate also are those who act according to the ethic of the Kingdom. They who are merciful, pure of heart, peacemakers, and seekers of justice belong to the kingdom. They are the bearers of blessings.

The Kingdom of heaven consists of the recipients of blessings and the agents of blessings. When one reads the lives of the saints, one realizes how much the saints are thankful for the blessings they have received. God has been generous to them, despite their unworthiness. St. John expresses this very well in the second reading, “See what singular love the Father has for us: we are called children of God, and we really are” (1Jn. 3:1).

The realization of God’s goodness makes the saints want to share the blessings they have received. When one is full of love, one can’t help it but share love to others. Love overflows. Love radiates. Where love is, there heaven is. Usually, we think of heaven as a place hereafter, enjoyed only by those who have died. We usually point to the skies above us when we talk of heaven. Heaven however does not only refer to the hereafter. Heaven is

a state of being. Even now and in this world, we can somehow be connected to this dimension of existence. “Ubi caritas, ibi Deus est.” Where there is love, there is God. Love connects us to heaven. A person who cannot bring himself to love others excludes himself from the fellowship of lovers. He prefers being in a state of no love. He prefers hell.

Heaven is also a future state, in the sense that our experiece of loving and being loved here on earth is still to be perfected. The best is yet to come. Love on earth is only a taste of what is yet to come. Perfect love and acceptance is in God. As John describes in the second reading, “Beloved, we are God’s children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when he appears in his glory, we know that we shall be like him, for then we shall see him as he is” (1Jn. 3:2).

As we celebrate the Feast of all the Saints, we join them in giving praise to God for his great love. Like the angels and the hevenly hosts described in the first reading, we say “Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 7:12).

We also try in our own way to share the blessings of love we have received. In this way we are already experiencing here on earth a taste of what is yet to come. We rejoice with the church triumphant in heaven, we pray for the church suffering in purgatory, and we strive to serve God as the church militant on our pilgrim way