Message: Faith leads to eternal Communion. God wants this for you.
As I mentioned last week God does not want something from you. He wants something for you. What he wants for you is faith. When Jesus healed the blind man he said, "Your faith has saved you." Faith is much more than intellectual belief. It involves a lived relationship with Jesus that begins in this life and continues to the next.
Today we get a glimpse of that future life. It turns out that this Sunday falls on November 1 so we are celebrating all the saints. God wants that Communion for you. The reading from Revelation shows that Communion: First with the 144 thousand from the twelve Hebrew tribes, then a multitude from every people. The Communion includes angels and a special group near the altar wearing white robes - those who shed their blood for Jesus.
Saints, angels and martyrs once filled people with awe. It may not do the same for you. This gathering might sound like a family reunion where you don't know half the people.
Well, let me reassure you it will not be awkward or boring. First we will have something profound in common - our relation to Jesus. You might think when you enter everyone will be looking at you. Not so. The saints focus on Jesus. Likewise Jesus will be your focus. Otherwise, you wouldn't be there! So don't worry about the Communion being awkward
But there's a second reason not to worry. In heaven we will have nothing to hide. When Peter introduces himself, he will not say, "I was the first pope." No, he will say, "I am the coward who denied Jesus." We will glory in the divine mercy. For the boastful, the arrogant, the self-righteous another place exists.
The Communion of Saints is the joy of forgiveness. In today's Gospel Jesus invites us to enter the Communion. Jesus tells us that what seems like defeat turns out to be victory: insults, put downs, mourning, poverty, those can lead to dependence on God and on others - Communion.
We cling to our supposed self-sufficiency. Us older folk say, "I don't want to be a burned to my children." Why not? They were a burden to you! We are not made for self-sufficiency. We are made for communion.
So we have seen that faith leads to eternal Communion. God wants this for you. He also wants to give you something here and now - an amazing abundance. It may not be the abundance that immediately comes to mind, but it may. We will see next week.
Today's Psalm does say that those who seek the Lord shall receive a blessing, a reward from God our saviour. Amen.
Plan for this series:
From Archives (All Saints Homilies):
Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
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Fr. Brad's Homilies
Fr. Jim's Homilies
Fr. Michael White's Homilies ("messages")
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru