As a child I often wondered what it would be like to walk among the saints. Since the saints seemed to belong to “history” it was easy to think of them and their lives in “Star Wars” terms: “long ago and in a far-away place!” I wondered if my life would be different if I lived and walked among saints. Church seemed like the logical place for such an encounter. I always liked church on the Feast of “All Saints Day.” Its vigil had tasty rewards which you had to dress up and work for, and its day began a 9 week season of harvest and holidays that crowned the entire year. These days have a special rhythm and melody that fill us all, children and adults, with energy and expectation, a little taste of heaven for all the senses!
During the course of my life I had the pleasure of being in the presence of Saint Pope John Paul II several times. I actually met him in 2001 and, like a multitude of others, have the picture to prove it! I actually got to walk with a saint! Even in his body, which was obviously in pain, there was a spirit of joy that was both visible and tangible. There was also something very familiar about this experience, almost like I have had it (many) times before! We walk among the saints each day in our parish family. Some are delightful, some are encouraging. Some are challenging and some are down-right annoying!
When my mother died in 1978, the Entrance Hymn, set to the familiar melody of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, was “Sing with all the Saints in Glory,” which is still found in our hymn books (#622). Good music with solid texts are ever enduring. Good lives with solid faith are ever enduring! Saints, with a familiar melody expressed through the rhythm of their lives, “sing” the Resurrection Song!
Grant us a spirit of joy, O Lord, in all that we do, that we may have a taste of heaven! Grant us also a spirit of thanksgiving for those who have given us a glimpse of heaven! Help us always to sing the Resurrection Song!
Tomorrow is All Souls Day. We will remember all those who have died in the past year in our parish family at tomorrow’s 7 p.m. Mass.
Our parish Harvest Festival is Friday and Saturday. As we begin these days of harvest and holiday, let us join together with grateful hearts and joyful spirits!
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!