It is a special joy on this Feast of All Saints to remember all the saints in heaven that we don’t know about! These saints are the countless good Christians who have lived throughout the centuries (and even our own century), who are present to God and to us in the Church.
How does the Church know about this great crowd of saints in heaven? In the first reading for our Mass today, we hear from the Book of Revelation, a book that is full of the Apostle John’s visions depicting scenes in heaven (Revelation 7,2-14). There we see the numberless multitude of saints, standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, wearing white robes and singing the hymn which has echoed through the ages: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.” As the vision continues, an elder describes the throng as those “who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” If we think about it, this pattern repeats itself in every generation of Christians. And it’s our turn now, in these difficult times, to survive our present “time of great distress” with the help of our friends, the saints.
Monday, the day after All Saints Day, will be All Souls Day, the final day of our All Souls Novena. It is then that we will remember all our beloved dead and pray for them. We pray that they, too, will soon join the throng of the saints in heaven. All of this can help us be a blessing for our country in these hard times. May we have joy in today’s Feast and feel the power and strength of our own destiny – to join the multitude in heaven, where we will sing God’s praises forever. Amen!