HOMILY: 31ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 2020 (ALL SAINTS DAY)
Today is the Feast of All Saints. Believers and non- believers would have typical impression that saints are gloomy, morose, unsmiling people that we see portrayed in Christian art. But here’s a surprise, even the briefest glance at their biographies reveals joyful and energetic men and women who liked to have a laugh. Indeed, the more you know about the actual lives of the saints, the more it strikes you as bizarre that so many statues, paintings and mosaics of the saints show them as unsmiling men and women. These are surely misrepresentations of the holy men and women of Christian history, many of whom were not only joyful but had terrific senses of humour.
Saints are happy because they know their identity. The First Letter of John says “see what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. We will answer the question “who are we in the real sense?” It all started with God. The truth is our life is a gift from Him. The reason why we do not understand who we are is that we do not know God. To understand our identity, we have to discern the purpose of our life. Oftentimes, we entertain wrong questions. We tend to dwell on self- centered questions such as what should I do with my life, my goals, ambitions and aspirations? Focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. It is only the one who created us who can tell what we are created for. It is only in God can we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning purpose, our significance and destiny. All other paths will lead to dead end. Our life is all about becoming what God created us to be! To be a saint is to avoid speculations in life. Life is not all about guessing. To be holy is to rely on God’s revelation. It is in Christ whom we can find out who we are and what are we living for. Our purpose in life can be found in our relationship with Jesus. Without God life makes no sense.
Saints are happy because they understand their destiny. The Book of Revelation illustrates that “All the angels stood around the throne worshipping God, singing, blessing, glory, wisdom and thanksgiving and honour to God forever and ever. Amen.” They are the ones who come out with great ordeal. God made us to last forever. In fact, He had planted eternity into our hearts. Our desire is about forever, how I wish I could live forever, I love you forever and ever, friendship forever but there is no such forever in this world. Forever only belongs to God and to all who believe in Him. What is going to be like in eternity with God? John’s vision is very limited for our brains cannot handle the wonder and greatness of heaven. Those who had a chance to have a glimpse of it seem that they want to stay there forever. Peter said, Lord, let us stay here! It is all about enjoying unbroken relationship with God, endless forever.
Saints are happy because they live a life of charity. The gospel tells us about the beatitudes. We are called to be living saints. We are blessed when we are happy, to be vibrant when given an opportunity, to be generous, to forgive, to speak the truth and to be willing when asked to take sacrifice. To be happy is to consider ourselves greatly fortunate when we are humiliated, insulted and accused falsely. Not taking revenge against those who had injured us and when we pray for our enemies. To become a saint is to attain highly; to accomplish much is to sacrifice greatly.