This weekend as we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, the Church starts the new liturgical year B. In that way it is appropriate to wish you all a Happy New Church year. We start the season of Advent in which we prepare for the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord with Christmas. We looking forward to the coming of Jesus in our world in his first coming but also in his second coming. In a very special way he is coming to us every week in the Holy Eucharist. Advent means literally: arriving, coming or emerging. And this world is eager for the arriving of a Lord. A world that is suffering from a pandemic, a world that is dark, corruption around us, famines, war and hate. We are truly in need of a savior.
One of the themes that we can start our preparation with is found in today's first reading from the prophet Isaiah. Namely, that we have to return to God, confess our sins and hope for better days. And hope is what the world needs, always in these dark days before Christmas but especially this year as the whole world suffers from Covid 19 and it's restrictions. We need hope that there will be better days ahead of us. That we can return to normal soon again. Isaiah is eager for God to come down, as we are:. “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down….to make your name known to your adversaries”. In a way that is always the case. Gods adversaries is everything that goes against his plans and that includes our own shortcomings. Our shortcomings make us like an polluted garment, Isaiah tells us. And in the Gospel Jesus warns us against to walk too much inline with worldly things and it's rulers, for the end is coming sooner than we expect. Nothing will last forever and we need to be ready.
Everything that is contrary on God is his adversary and will disappear eventually. And that includes human made systems and leadership. Therefore we need not to put our trust in “human leadership”, that failed hopelessly throughout the ages, and keeps on doing so. We need to trust in God almighty only. At the end He is the only One that you can truly rely on. He will never leave or forsake you. If your complacent with the world you will lose at the end. We need to prepare for Gods coming in the flesh and submit to his plans.
Advent invites reassessment of where our ways are leading us. This reminds us that the world as we know it will one day end. When that is we don't know but we know that every individual will pass on someday. That might be scary but on the positive note we know that Jesus prepares a place for us. And But the positive side of this is that a new Spring day is dawning over the horizon, when Christ will come again into our lives with power to save us.
All of us travel once in a while. And not matter which form of travel you use to your destination, people that await you are eager for your coming. And if everything is well you as well. There is often excitement, ready with the broad smile of greeting to embrace the returning traveller. So looking for someone’s coming goes both ways. I believe the same it is the same with Jesus. We too wait for the Lord’s coming with eagerness, because we long for his presence…and Jesus is eager for our presence.
The waiting is important because, during our life’s pilgrimage, we are incomplete. As Augustine once said, “You have made us for Yourself, o Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” At some deep level of our personhood we are in need, a need that only God can fill. This is a time to open our hearts and invite the Lord to bring us to completion. We begin Advent, yearning for his coming. Today’s first reading puts this yearning into an image, that “We have all withered like leaves… blown by the wind.” The whirling, withered leaves of autumn are a familiar scene these past few weeks.
Isaiah proposes the dead leaves as symbols of all that is dried up and withered in our lives. But he also calls us to look for a better day. God is still in charge of creation, and our personal lives are under his loving care. We pray this Advent, “Come, Lord Jesus,” and make our own the words of the psalm, “Visit this vine and protect it, the vine your right hand has chosen.” It is a central plank of our faith that the Lord never abandons His people.
When people are waiting for their loved ones to arrive from travelling abroad it is an alert, active waiting – keeping an eye on the time. In today’s gospel Jesus says, “Be on your guard, stay awake.” He wants us to focus on our task here and now. We are to grow more mature in our relationship with others and with him, paying attention to prayer, and living with his message in our hearts. That’s what waiting for him should be like. And while we wait, we can enjoy his gifts, as promised.
Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King or Christ King of the Universe. On this we have to realize the difference between Christ’s Kingship and the rulers of the world. Jesus before Pilate said: “my kingdom is not of this world”. It is a different kingship. A king that humbles himself for his people. Not something we can say of the rulers of the world (then and now). The Prophet Ezekiel gives us a foreshadowing of that Kingship. It is a Shepherd-King. Someone that takes care of his people, rather than for himself. A king that is righteous, humble and caring. That is our Jesus, that is our Christ the King. He does not rule with absolute power like the ‘kings’ of our world. He does not shove people out of his way if they fail…. rather he lifts them up and gives them another chance. The Old Testament lesson gives us the beautiful shepherd metaphor in vivid and dramatic language. It shifts the focus on God as the Great Shepherd. That image eventually leads to the first human shepherd in the person of David. He became the best-known and loved king of ancient Israel. He is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ himself, who would be born out of the house of David. His name became a symbol of a great king, but also one that showed human frailty and failure. He was not perfect, for that he had too many errors…many wives, dysfunctional children, his Uriah and Bathsheba failure, his killing and the constant and unending wars which specifically was a thorn in the eyes of God. Nevertheless, he was humble enough to repent before God. And He was even with all his failures a King after Gods heart, despite all his failures.
Jesus is the perfection of the good Shepherd King. The New Testament lesson of St. Paul shows us a picture of a glorified Christ raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God. David, though a beloved king, showed the frailty and failures of human leadership. Though the word “king” does not enter in this narrative. The language is filled with power and majesty that is usually given to kings and emperors, but it does not use the word King. The first time we find the word King the New Testament is in the birth narrative of St. Matthew. The Magi visitors, accustomed to the great potentates of the East, are looking for the “king of the Jews” and inquire in Jerusalem. When Herod gets word of that he is greatly troubled. He is already king of the Jews, right? And as any leader he did good and bad. But now he went down the hill. He killed his wives and his own children in order to hold on to his throne. And soon he will order the slaughter of the innocents in order to stay in power. That is how the rulers of this world function, then and now. The image that Herod leaves us is not that of a great king, but rather a miserable one. So here is the newborn King, directly out of the line of David. People in the days of Jesus knew the prophecy. The child grew up to be a wise teacher, healing, prophet and for many…the anointed one of God, the Son of God. Jesus claims the title not really for himself too much, rather he uses the kings in his parable. Not triumphant kings glorious in battle or boasting about how great they are, but kings that make tough decisions when it comes to justice. Kings who give banquets where everyone is invited. And finally, he presents to us the magisterial image of the kings of kings that bestows apocalyptic message of justice in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.
This parable of the Great Judgement must be familiar to those that want to follow Jesus and do as he did. When we compare it to the rulers of our world, they become almost pathetic leaders. This is a tough parable, without sentimentality. We hear people often say: “Jesus is King” but it does not always look like that. If you see how often people “worship” worldly leaders, it does not look like Jesus is their King. You cannot have both, it is Jesus or “Caesar”. Another thing that is important to know is that Jesus is King yes, but a different one than people often think He is. Today it is not about a triumph king but about humility. All the teachings of Jesus find a culmination in this parable. The one who taught that “the last shall be first”. He brings to his right hand, a position of honor, those that served other rather than themselves. “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” This is a radical kind of kingship in the eyes of people, then and now. In our days there are not much royal houses left and they are different from back then. But we all know what it is to live under the leadership of persons who promote greed and selfishness instead of compassion and humility. This Jesus ate with the poor and the outcasts, healed the sick, came close to lepers, honored women and elevated the worth of little children.
Paul visualizes Jesus Christ handing over the kingdom to God the Father at the end of time. St. Paul writes that: "When He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power, for he must reign until He has put all enemies under his feet". If you read that carefully you have to conclude that, in Paul’s eyes, all human leadership is an enemy of God or at least opposite from Gods Kingship. For a simple reason: human leadership is self-centered and puts its own interest before others. Gods Reign puts others first! This ideal kingdom is not something merely hoped for as a future gift, but something that we should strive for. The kingdom is coming but somehow it is also in our midst. It is a process of becoming. Today’s gospel shows us how we can contribute to the coming of Gods kingdom. It becomes manifest when justice is done for “the least of these, my brothers and sisters”. It is done when the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, and the oppressed are taken care of. To do this is to imitate our Shepherd-King who is presented in the Gospels. Our King is one who eases alienation, who feeds, gives rest, heals, unites and makes strong. He always had compassion on people, even in his final hour on the cross. He showed mercy to the thief crucified with him. He did not ask about the how’s but just showed mercy and compassion.
The best way to honor Christ our King is to work for the unfolding and promoting of his kingdom. In working for the oppressed and marginalized people. That is how we serve Christ, because he always identified with people in need. To be deaf to the cry of our neighbor is to be deaf to Christ. To be blind to the anguish of the sick and dying is to be blind to Christ. If we proclaim Jesus Christ as our Shepherd-king than we have to be shepherds in a way as well. In many churches, Christ the King Sunday is filled bells and extravagant praise. The contrast with the life of Jesus could not be greater and sometimes troubles us. But we should not forget that this feast was added to the Church calendar only in 1925, in a time that the Church wanted to oppose the failures of human leadership with this image of Christ the King. Jesus as the Son of Man is the man that proved through his own suffering and death that he is beside us in the struggle. He shares in our suffering and challenges in life. In this time of a deadly virus he is with us. In a climate fear, division, selfishness and hatred our king is at our side. He rules with love and compassion. Fear, hatred and being self-centered has no place when we proclaim Jesus as King. We have our King to lead us when “the going gets tough and the tough gets going” (as Billy Ocean once sung).
We have our Shepherd king that helps us on our journey through life. As his father raised him from the death. He will raise us unto his right hand, we hope, at the end of times. But until then he will also raise us up unto his right hand in our struggles in life. We have a king that doesn’t take care of himself, like the leaders of our world, but he cares for others. This is our Shepherd King, that is our Jesus. And we are called to follow him in the way we live our lives. Amen.
The basic message of today’s Gospel is that we all have talents. Maybe not in the way other people have: celebrities, sport stars, politician, charismatic speakers and so on, but we all have talents and nevertheless important. Experts say that people in general only use a little fraction of their talents. You are gifted, whether you realize it or not. It just up to you to figure out what it is and do the best you can to use it. Sometimes people don’t use their talents is because other people belittled them or laughed about the things they wanted to explore. To belittle makes someone feel small, less and is bad for their self-esteem. Sometimes it is been done through: cynicism, sarcasm, non-appreciation, taking for granted. The opposite from belittling is to lift people up, to encourage them to value themselves.
Looking at the parable, you might think at first that the third servant took the safe approach. But taking no risk in life at all might at the end not be very rewarding. It might spoil the talents could have used and you didn’t. That might leave you with regrets at the end of your life. The third servant has also a very twisted view on the character of God, which Jesus wants to correct. He tells the master: “I heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown.” Look carefully at the word “heard”. He thinks but he does not really know. Here is Jesus criticizing the scribes and Pharisees, towards whom it was directed. Their vision was: God demands perfection and only a scrupulous observance of the Law can give us security. But Jesus says: NO, that is not what God is like! God’s way is different: He loves us and wants us to do something with our lives that is beneficial. He wants an abundant harvest. Jesus wants us to know that salvation comes to those who prepared to take risk, even if they might fail in their efforts. A talent is given to bear fruit and not to be wasted. It may seem wise not to risk, but in the end it is not.
We know from our own experience that everyone has different different abilities. We determine who is good in what and entrust people with tasks that are in line with their ability. We also learn from experience what our own abilities are. And of course we learn where we not that good at or what our limitations are. The rich man in today’s parable was a kind of good manager (they do exist). He knew exactly what the qualities of his servants were and what they were capable off. Before he set out on his journey he entrusted each of them “according to their abilities”. He knew that and only gave them as much as they could bare. The man who received five made five more; the one who received two was capable of making two more; the one who received one talent was capable of making one more (but he didn’t). The first two servants worked according to their ability. The third servant did not lived up to his ability. He gave only back what was given to him, instead of the two talents he was capable of gaining. What held this servant back from working according to his ability? The Gospel gives the answer as well. It was fear. “I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground.” We, at times, might feel sympathy for the third servant. Deep down, we are also often hold back out of fear. It is fear that prevents us from doing what we are well capable of doing.
Sometimes even fear that we are not good enough in each others eyes and in Gods eyes. But the thing is we are good as we are to God but he wants us to accomplish what he knows we are capable of doing. Fear is a powerful force in our lives. For some more then others. There are many reasons for this. Those who have experienced a lot of criticism growing up, might have troubles taking risks and will have a more fearful approach to life.
There is a Irish proverb that goes as following: “praise the young and they will make progress”. It makes much sense but the opposite can be true as well. Criticize the young and they will be held back. Unfair criticism can stunt our growth and prevent us from reaching our God-given potential. We hide what we have been given in the ground. There it remains safe, but useless. Jesus was only too well aware of the disabling power of fear in people’s lives. It is striking the number of times in the gospels that he uses the words: “Do not be afraid.” He said it to Simon Peter when he said: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man”. He knew that it was fear that held him back into the new way of life. Jesus was capable to release people from their fears. He did not want it to hold them back for the life that he knew that they were capable of. He was able to cope with failure in others. He knew that they could learn from failure.
The tragedy of the third servant in the parable today is that, out of fear, he hid what had been entrusted to him. Though he had the ability to use it to grow. God gave us our talents, everyone in our own way, to the service of others. If we hide what he gave us, others will miss out on that. Most of us need some encouragement and uplifting words, to place our gifts for the benefits of others. Part of our baptismal calling is to give others courage, to encourage others. It is as Paul tells us today: “Encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” In these difficult times for the church and the world, the ministry of encouragement is even more important than ever. There is much to be learned from past mistakes. But God wants us to learn from these mistakes and go forward again. Now is not the time to hide our talents, out of fear, in the ground. On the contrary, now is the time to encourage each other to share this treasure we have. So that the Church and the World will benefit from it and becomes a better place, where The Living God is present. Amen
I greet you in the Name of the Lord Jesus on this commemoration of “Veterans Day.” On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day, as it was called originally, to be observed annually. To honor the armistice ending World War I— formally ending the “great war” at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. It was suppose to end all wars but that didn’t happen as we very well know. After WWII, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law, that November 11 would be a day to honor all veterans, and so today our country celebrates Veterans Day.
You might ask yourself what the link is between St. Martin of Tours and Veterans day. For one November 11th is his feast day. Second because Martin of Tours was a veteran himself. He was a soldier before receiving his calling. So it is quite fitting, for today is a feast day of one of our Church’s well known and beloved soldier Saint, a patron Saint of soldiers along with St. Michael, St. George, and St. Ignatius, and St. Joan of Arc. St. Martin of Tours, born of pagan parents, was the son of a veteran, a soldier and officer in the Roman army, though Martin was actually forced to serve in the army against his will at the age of 15. The word Chapel and Chaplain is been said to go directly back to St. Martin…because he cut his cape or cloak (cappa or cappella in Latin). In English it is a little hard to recognize the word in cappella but in my native language, Dutch, it is not. In the Dutch word kapel you can easily recognize cappela. Cappelanus came to the English language via Old French as ‘chaplain’. In Dutch it became kapelaan (associate priest).
While, serving in the army, Martin began to desire Christian baptism, and was enrolled as a catechumen. There is the famous story when on a bitterly cold day ,the soldier, Martin met a poor man, almost naked, trembling in the cold and begging at the city gate. Martin had nothing but his weapons and his clothes. So he drew his sword, cut his cloak into two pieces, gave one to the beggar. Some of the bystanders laughed at his now odd appearance, wearing only half a cloak; others were ashamed at not having relieved the man’s misery themselves. That night in his sleep Martin saw Christ dressed in the cloak he had given to the beggar and said, “Martin, still a catechumen, has covered me with his garment.” At the age of 23 he told his commander: “I have served you as a soldier; now let me serve Christ.” Martin was discharged from the army and became a hermit under the direction of another saint, St. Hilary. Martin was elected bishop, dedicated much of his efforts to evangelization, founded a monastery, and attracted many vocations to the monastic life. He continued to live the ascetic life as a bishop, always keeping to heart, “that which you did for these least of my brethren, you did for me” as he did for that beggar. St. Martin reminds us of our duty as Christians towards those in need, and our duty to conform ourselves to Christ whatever our vocation—through prayer, detachment from material things, prayerful and right living, that our whole lives might be put at the service of our King and shepherd, for the glory of God and salvation of souls.
Back to Veterans day. When Veterans day was proclaimed it was supposed to end all wars…but it did not happen. Undoubtedly, those wars can make us depressed and sad about the state of the world. We were so hopeful that goodness and truth would come out of violence and evil; and it did not happen. Moreover, we are even now living through precarious and dangerous times. We had our own ‘tribulation” with all the wars. From Vietnam to Korea and from Afghanistan to Iraq (and so many more). In times of ongoing war there is always fear around the corner. There is an unspoken undercurrent of anxiety and uncertainty. We don’t know what the future holds. But what we do know is that there is a true and living God. To speak in the words of Job: “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 19). Let us be hopeful that the good will always win. Our veterans deserve our respect because they fight for the freedom we enjoy. Veterans fight to preserve our constitutional rights. Veterans die so we can live. So, on this Veterans Day, let us give thanks to God for their service and keep them in our prayers always. Amen.
Today we hear about the Prophet Amos, who was called to prophecy to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. From history we know that after the death of Solomon, the kingdoms were split up in two. The ten tribes of the north rejected the dynasty of David. They also rejected the worship of the Jerusalem temple. They set up their own places of worship. That is the setting that the Prophet Amos came into being. He was a farmer from the Southern Kingdom that was called away from his occupation to minister to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Like many people before and since, we might perhaps also going through the motions of worship? Did they really ‘seek good" and be close to God? Perhaps they felt that their religious exercises were enough, without adapting their lifestyle. But now their worship was under scrutiny. It was like Jesus says in the Gospel: ‘These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me’ (Matthew 15:8). God says through Amos: “Take away the noise of your songs (psalms), for I will not hear the melody of your viols” (Amos 5:23). Worship is reduced to merely noise in the eyes of the LORD when our hearts are not right. God wants rather justice. “Rather let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24). That is what it is all about. If we don’t live the way God wants us to live, then our worship is worthless. He wants us to be always expectant watching out for his coming in our lives. He is the bridegroom, and the Church is his bride. It is about relationship, a covenant. We are supposed to be on the same page as our God.
That brings us to today's Gospel. The refusal of the wise virgins to share may appear selfish. The answer might sound harsh. But here we are not talking really about lamps and oil but about people and life. We can learn from one another and be inspired by one another. The wedding banquet symbolizes eternal life in the New Testament. The traditional explanation is that the parable warns us that it is possible to exclude ourselves from the banquet of eternal life. It was only those who were ready, who went in with the bridegroom to the wedding hall. That might be true, but the Gospel leaves other questions for us. Like the question we started out with: “were the wise virgins selfish?” And were the foolish excluded by the wise virgins or by the groom? What is really the mistake of the foolish virgins? When you read the parable correctly you can see that all the bridesmaids fell asleep, even the wise, when they should have kept awake. But what would have happened, had the if the bridesmaids simply would have waited in the darkness of the night? That might be their mistake. They left, when it would have been better if they just stayed. I cannot imagine that the bridal couple would have rejected them. Would they really have been overconcerned about the oil in their lamps? I bet they would just been happy to see their friends waiting for them.
It would have taken some faith and courage to wait in frailty but it would have been the best thing to do. What is also clear in the parable is that the wise break up the bridal party and send if the foolish away in search for oil. Not the greatest advise. It would have been better if they would had encouraged them to stay. They went through the oil while all the rest were sleeping. The bridegroom would surely understand that. If we make this parable about exclusion that would be contrary on the gospel message of the gospel of radical inclusivity and compassion. Would we really believe that Jesus would turn someone away who gives the best they have? According the customs during the first century, the groom would have arrived at the wedding celebration with the bride. The bridesmaids would have been her friends and would be awaiting her return with the groom. Many scholars agree that the original parable likely included the bride and the bridegroom arriving late together. However, this would contradict the conventional understanding of the story.
In the end, Jesus says, those on their way to heaven will be decided by what they gave away, whether they fed the poor, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned. Whether they shared what they had. Whether they shared their oil. The wise on earth had their wedding feast on earth. But that is not how it will be in the kingdom of heaven. So, if you find yourself feeling like the foolish bridesmaids, remember to wait in the darkness. Don’t run from it. It is a holy place and God will meet you there. The bottom line from the parable is to wait for the Lord and not walk away…even if your out of oil. Amen.
A veil of mystery hides what lies beyond this mortal life here and now. Saint Paul recognizes when he says that “No eye has seen; no ear has heard, nor has it entered the human heart to imagine what God has prepared for those who love him.” [1 Cor 2:9].
But yet holy Scriptures gives us a glimpse of what lies beyond this world, for those who love God. Those in heaven are no plaster saints, without human failures, but it is a glorious band in the heavenly realm. People who lived lives of love, so they went straight back to the God. And that is true for both canonized and un-canonized Saints. We know all the canonized: The blessed virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Peter, St. Thomas, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Mary Salome, St. Veronica, St. Mary James, St. Mary and St. Martha of Bethany, St. Joanna, St. Susanna, St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Michael and all the angels, and the list goes on.
They went to meet with the One who always held them in the palm of his hand. Heroes and ordinary people. Some who have inspired the church for centuries. Others are the unknown heroes, living a quiet life of kindness and duty. We can all call some of these people to mind. Many of us have weird notions of what a saint looks like. We often think that famous people are perfect and infallible. But these people are as fallible as we are all. But is it really true that the saints never broke the rules (St Augustine?), never experienced the dark night of the soul? Do you think Saints did not enjoy life or had a sense of humor? St. Theresa of Avilva said: ‘God save us from sullen Saints’. You think the Saints never broke into a great smile? The answer is, ‘of course it is not true.’ The saints were fully human. They struggled with temptation; they savored life’s joy.
On All Saint’s day we think of all the good people who have crossed our lives - parents, grandparents, classmates, parishioners here in the parish. They were not perfect, but they were in their own way great human beings and enriched our lives. That reminds me of the story of a priest who asked his class: what do you have to do to become a saint? One hand shot up: ‘You have to die, Father’ said the little boy. In a way he was right of course but we also know many living saints who are on the way to eternal union with him. Sanctity is not an achievement of our own but a divine grace in which we share. We cannot experience it by ourselves. We are all called to holiness. Each person is anointed with the Spirit and the grace of God. We only have to be aware of the power of God’s grace. is not being aware that we have it. We are all children of God, not only when we die, but right here and now. “A great multitude that no one could count”, we hear in the book of revelation today. God is rich in mercy. As Jesus told us: “In My Father’s House there are many mansions”. There’s place there for all of us. Jesus has told us how to get there. He shows us how to be people after Gods own heart. We know that these qualities are different from the world.
The world says, blessed are the rich, because they can have anything they want. But Jesus says, blessed are the poor in spirit. By poor in spirit he means those who put their trust in God rather than money. The world says, blessed are those who live it up, and never stop having fun. But Jesus says, blessed are those who mourn. He means those who let themselves feel the misfortune, pain and sorrow of others, and know how to respond with empathy and compassion. The world says, blessed are the bullies, the tough, the dividers and the aggressive with big mouths. But Jesus says, blessed are the gentle. Gentleness is not weakness, but a form of strength. The world says, blessed are those who hunger for power, status, and fame. But Jesus says, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. The only power and status we really need is to keep living in God!
The world says, blessed are those who show no mercy! But Jesus says, blessed are the merciful. Happy are those who forgive mistakes and whose greatness lies in their ability to forgive. They will receive mercy and forgiveness from God for their own sins. The world says, Happy are those that know how to maintain a beautiful body. But Jesus says, blessed are those with clean and beautiful hearts. It’s from the heart that all our thoughts, words, and actions flow. The world says, blessed are those who get even and exact revenge. But Jesus says, blessed are the peacemakers. Happy are those who spread understanding among people, welcome all and strive for an equal society. They are truly the children of God. The world says, blessed are those who lie and cheat and get away with it. But Jesus says, blessed are those who make a stand for what is right and true. Jesus practiced what he preached. In his own person he was the beatitudes. Living them day after day.
Today’s feast is not about the canonized saints but about all the good and holy people who have ever lived. Maybe we don’t expect to be a Saint one day, but today’s is reminding us of that deep calling to become better people! It is reminding us that Jesus Christ can and will empower us to live what he preached and lived. We need Him to show us the way, the truth and the life! We need to follow him and become the people God wants us to be! And we always need to receive Him as our Bread of Life in the Holy Eucharist to strengthen us on our journey through life. Amen!