November 1, 2020 – Solemnity of All Saints
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/110120.cfm)
St. Augustine once said: “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” It is a matter of pride & humility then that makes people saints or sinner, angels or saints.
You see, pride is concerned with WHO is right; humility is concerned with WHAT is right. Though both are concerned about right, pride is more on the authority & power, against humility, which is more on the moral principles of right & good. Pride encourages us to scream, “That’s just the way I am” in the hope that we will not hear the soft whisper of humility, asking us, “Yes, but is that the way you should be?”. “Well, this is Me… but should Me be it?” Ganito kasi ako… pero dapat ba akong ganito? Ani naman gud ko… pero angayan ba nga ani lang ko? Pride is being influenced by Shallow Loud Noisy voice of the evil that makes us artificial/fake/plastic, while humility is being inspired by Gentle yet Deep Soft Sound of the Spirit that makes us real & true, warts & all, broken yet blessed before God and others.
In the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus in our gospel proclaims us through the Beatitudes how Blessed we are (for the Kingdom of God, comfort, inheritance, satisfaction, mercy, being God’s children & Kingdom of Heaven). We are blessed not because of our actions – of what we have done & doing in our lives but moreso because of God’s graces – of what God gives us & God is doing in our lives. We are more so blessed then because of God grace & action, regardless of our doings. However, God’s gift of blessings for us is fully enjoyed & fulfilled in life if and when we are humble enough to acknowledge, value and share these with others. Our humility makes us more well-disposed and appreciative of the fruits of God’s blessings in our lives, and willing to partake it with others, though our pride could render us insensitive and hinders us to fully benefit from God’s grace, and thus making ours and other people’s lives miserable and cursed.
Today is All Saint’s Day. We honor ALL saints – both the recognized & unrecognized officially by Church. You see, saints or saintly people are in essence like us Christians who humbly witnesses in their faith and lives God’s blessings to all. They are Christians like us – “the people that longs to see your face, O Lord”, who not only by their words & deeds but also by their faith and life, have struggled and still struggling (along with suffering, mistakes, & success) to be humbly real and true to their chosen vocation in life & to fulfill their special mission in God’s grace and kingdom, and in effect have greatly influenced other people’s faith & life.
Simply put, saints are fellow-Christians who have greatly infected and influenced now our very person and faith as Christian. Somehow and in someway, because of them & through them, we become Christians now. So, think of all saintly people whom you have crossed paths in life and have made you know, love & follow Christ in your life. Perhaps parents, grandparents, relatives, teachers, neighbors, catechists, friends, priests, sisters – both living and dead. Yes, both living and dead, as long as they have influenced and are still greatly influencing your life then-now and always as Christian, because they are & have been SAINTS to you and others. Remember and include them in your prayers these days. Eternal rest to those who have already gone before us. More blessings & witnessing for those who are still with us now, like you and I are still humbly leading our Christian lives saintly – struggling to be true to our calling, fulfilling our mission to be witnesses of God’s blessings and hoping also to influence other’s faith and life – blessed yet broken we maybe.
Again, being blessed or being cursed, being saint or sinner is a matter of humility and pride. Our life nowadays amidst quarantine during pandemic times can be a Curse if and when in pride we are ungrateful, ungracious, and greedy of God’s blessings before us… but can be a Blessing if and when we humbly recognize, value, and share God’s blessing with one another, especially those who are in need at this time. We all do need God’s blessings at this time in history. So Let us be a Blessing than a Curse to one another. Rather than remain to be a proud sinner (a pain in the… neck 😉), try to be a humble saint (a helping hand, a gentle presence, a lending ear) to others. With the examples & witness of the saints, may we joyfully admit How Blessed we are by humbly saying: “This is not mine only but Ours to Share” & not by proudly insisting: “This is Mine alone and not yours”. So may it be. Hinaut pa unta. Amen.
By Fr. Aphelie Mario Masangcay, CSsR