As we celebrate the feast of All Saints today, Fr Peter reads from Matthew’s Gospel (5: 1-12) in which Jesus shares the beatitudes with his followers.
Today as we begin this beautiful month of November, Fr Peter says, we venerate these beautiful people who have given their lives to God and his church. It is a great opportunity for us to think of role of the saints in our life. Fr Peter says he is sure we can all think of one saint we look to for inspiration and encouragement by such a role model that can really help us in our faith.
Fr Peter says, for him, one such saint is St Agatha who truly gave her life to God and the church. For someone so young and who truly loved her faith, she was prepared to die for what she believed. As we know, not all saints are martyrs some of them lived long lives. For me, who truly look to someone like St Agatha who truly loved her God and what is so inspiring about her story, like all the stories of the saints we read, is that she was even prepared to love the people who were persecuting her.
She would even forgive those who were about to kill her, which is a great act of love in itself. That’s a love that at times we don’t understand what motivates someone to do such a great act of charity, knowing that their life will be short lived.
Today, we hear this beautiful passage from the Gospel of St Matthew from the Sermon on the Mount and think, especially, of this particular feast and as we hear the verse, rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven. All of us are called to be saints as well – that’s why the church exists, for us to be able to be an example that people can look to, giving them hope to realise they are loved by God and have the gift of faith.
As we venerate all the saints as we pay tribute to these great men and women who have given so much and, as we think of our favourite saint, we look to them as a role model who can truly help us in our spiritual life and in our relationship with God. Let us pray to all of these saints, may they help us on our journey of faith. May we one day join them when our time comes.