Dear St. Luke friends,
On this Solemnity of All Saints, Christ invites us to rejoice and celebrate with all the saints and angels in heaven. Heaven is so vast and limitless and God desires to fill His Kingdom with all of His children. He wants no one to be left behind. God's loving plan for all, you and I included, is to transform us into His saints, no matter how dark and sinful our past is. Our Merciful Savior, who is the embodiment of the Beatitudes, has given us these "blessed" rules to guide our life of holiness. He loves us so much that He wants us all to be united with Him not just here on earth but eternally in heaven.
Just like the saints who have gone before us, we have been given by Christ the ticket to heaven - His saving Cross. The perfect love of Christ crucified on the Cross is the same victorious love which opened the gates of eternity and which will bring us to fullness of life and redemption in the coming age. All the hardships, struggles and sufferings we encounter are the crosses which Christ asks us to bear in union with Him. We don't have to shoulder our crosses alone. The Holy Spirit comes to our aid when we call on Him and we are nourished by the love of Christ through His sacraments. We also have our Blessed Mother and all the saints as our powerful intercessors, and we have our brothers and sisters in Christ as companions in our pilgrimage of faith.
So when life seems to pull us down, let us be glad and look heavenward. God, our Blessed Mother and all the hosts of angels and saints and all our departed loved ones are waiting for us. With hope that we will be counted among them in worshipping God for eternity: “Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 7:12)
A Blessed Sunday to all -- the Holy Spirit continues to unite us in faith, hope and love as we gather for Christ's Eucharist feast (at St. Luke's or at home) and as we offer acts of mercies and prayers for one another and for those who are suffering from the pandemic. We trust that all are in the merciful and sovereign hands of God.
Blessings and peace in Christ,
Rev. Jonathan Paala
"Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12a)