Today is the Feast of All Saints and the Church calls us to reflect on two simple important facts.
Our destiny, our ultimate happiness, and our joy is to be united with God.
If you are in this chapel right now I hope you have the consolation of knowing that this is not all there is.
I hope you know that God longs for you to live in his presence.
God longs to be united with you forever.
The second point is just as important as the first put simply there are many roads home.
All roads home go through Christ but there are still many ways home.
One day I was discussing happiness with a group of kids in the Pryz.
We all ventured opinions on it… I began…
Happiness is a tub of Chocolate Ice Cream with granola and or cherrios mixed in.
Happiness is a big baked potato smothered in butter and seasoned with a generous portion of salt.
Happiness is a perpetual Caribbean Cruise
To push my buttons one student ventured…
Happiness is that comfortable feeling a glass of beer can provide.
I added for those who are 21.
Happiness is working hard and being rewarded for your work.
Happiness is finding a note on your car after a long day from someone special to you.
All of these things bring a smile to a person’s face.
Yet all of these things are but a shadow of real happiness.
They are like a flash in a pan.
Yes, they satisfy and they can please a person but they don’t ever last long.
They are a tease, a moment, a glimpse of what is to come.
It’s as if someone opens a door and give you a quick glance at what happiness feels like.
Holy Ones real happiness can be found only in the presence of God,
and yes that is our destiny.
We were created to live and be in love with God forever.
Today the Church proposes the beatitudes as a meditation on how we can find true happiness.
A person who is happy a person who is peace filled is blessed.
At first glance the beatitudes seem contradictory.
How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution?
How can someone who is poor or in need be happy?
How can someone who mourns be happy?
How can someone who is persecuted be happy?
Think about it…
Poverty of spirit allows us to see God as the greatest treasure possible?
Poverty allows a person to empty themselves of all that distracts them and concentrate on God and their brothers and sisters.
When a person hungers for the spirit of righteousness they are really trying to conform their lives to God's Word and God’s Spirit.
When we hunger for God and the knowledge of God
He will not hesitate in providing it.
Sorrow and mourning over a wasted life or our sins and weaknesses can lead to repentance and a joyful freedom from the burden of guilt.
God reveals to a person with a humble heart the true source of abundant life and happiness.
In the Gospels Jesus promises his disciples that the joys of heaven will more than compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world.
St. Thomas Aquinas said: No one can live without joy.
That is why a person deprived of spiritual joy goes after carnal pleasures or cheap imitations.
Yes, the Feast of All Saints…. Reminds us of our destiny all of the Saints are in heaven and that’s where we all want to go.
But this important feast also provides us with good examples of the many ways to get there.
Fr. Brad who used to be stationed here and I used to fight over how to go the Beltway.
He liked New Hampshire Ave.
I liked Riggs Road
Both ways get you there.
I hated the signals on New Hampshire there are 47 signals from here to the beltway
He hated Riggs road because it is too narrow and windy
However they both go to the same place and help you get home…
Today on the Feast of all Saints the Saints the Church remind us that there are many ways to get to heaven.
Every age, every generation, has given new heroes who showed us the way.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, would rather stand up to lions than bow before the statue of a pagan god.
St. Francis of Assisi gave away everything he had because he knew that all it did was get in the way.
St. Joan of Arc, a strong young girl listened to the voice of the Lord and refused to deny His presence in her life. Her faithfulness cost her her life.
St. Thomas More would not or could not permit anyone or any legal nicety to alter his conscience.
St. Catherine of Siena taught kings and popes about the presence of the Lord among them and their responsibility to be Christian leaders.
St. Theresa of Liseaux sent flowers to God with her daily sacrifices of love.
There are thousands of saints.
Some of you know saints who have proceeded us to Home.
Each one of them shows another way to God
Each one of them had a gift they refused to surrender
Each one of them was would not compromise when it came to following God’s will no matter what the cost.
Let us never forget that our destiny is to be with God
Let us remember that we are not the first on this journey home.
There are many wonderful examples of people who have arrived.
Their example can show us the way on our journey.
Saints of God
Come to our aid