Saturday, November 1, 2014

Someone ask me to share 8am homily on the Feast of All Saints



There is good in life, bothers and sisters... even in the midst of the evil that is celebrated and promoted from almost every channel, movie, show, radio or song.  Yes, evil is notorious in our world, and maybe our mind is accustomed to that. Well, the Book of Revelation can change the way we see things – it makes us rethink the way the world sometimes trains us to see reality.   "A great multitude, which no one could count" (Rev. 7: 9) – we see an irrefutable manifestation of good right there! It exists, even though, for now, it remains almost invisible to us.


This multitude is made up of every nation, race, people and tongue.  Maybe this is another image that catches us by surprise a bitWe sometimes think in terms of who has better education or salary our status.  It doesn't surprise me that even when we talk about evangelization, some members of the leadership of the Church will say to other bishops that because they belong to a lower status, their opinion doesn't count. It seems that even when speaking of salvation, the moral direction we are given depends only on a particular group of people to decide. Let's say it clearly, the joy we see in the Book of Revelation is different...what we see there is that the exclusion has been excluded.


Lord, This Is The People That Long To See Your Face


In the Psalm the Church provides for today's celebration, we have received a name for that multitude we saw in the Book of Revelation - "The people that long to see your face". I think we can define holiness as living in the presence of God. And so to look for God, to long to see His face, it is essential for us to live in His presence.  To be a saint is to be constant and persevering during our life in our search for God.  And in this idea we also have the definition of sin - to stop looking for God - to sit down, to be content, to think fulfillment is already found -  asthe Gospel said about that rich man, to make plans for bigger barns, for larger harvest without thinking that the time for ones life was only given to search and find God.


What is stopping us?  What is stopping you, my friend? Not even our falls and the sins we seem to repeat every day can stop us.  The worst enemy in our search for God and holiness is discouragement.  It will try to make you stop.  Peter betrayed Jesus and so did Judas, but Peter didn’t fall into discouragement.  He didn’t stop searching for God.  He repented and began again – and because of this, became the first Pope and a great Apostle.  Judas didn’t.  


Announcement of Joy


Nobody can deny the paradox we find in the Beatitudes we hear in the Gospel today. To declare as “blessed” or “happy” those who are poor, those whosuffer, the meek, the ones that are persecuted - it appears to be a clear contradiction of everything we see triumphing in the world. 


But maybe God is inviting us to go beyond the paradox? Maybe before we think too much about the paradox, we need to focus in on the word that startsand summarizes everything - "blessed" - "happy". Let's not be shy in thinking of it, celebrated or saying it.  The Gospel is a message of fulfillment and joy. If for any reason that joy doesn't look like the joy we are used to seeing in the world, we shouldn’t let that distract us. What matters is that we have received an announcement – a promise – of fulfillment, happiness and joy!


The language of happiness is simply irreplaceable for our hearts. We simply need it. We need it as we need air, good health, water or food. Or maybe even more than all of that, because there are many out there who, moved by anxiety and sadness, reject the possibility of life, even though they have more than enough air, good health, water or food. 


The Gospel promises joy and happiness. It announces joy and happiness. It builds joy and happiness in our lives. Its way of doing it could have a strange appearance to us - like the cross - but that doesn't negate or diminish the Good News it implies.


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