A Parade of Saints Known and Unknown

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. The Gospel is the section of the Sermon on the Mount known as the Beatitudes: “Blessed are …” The Beatitudes are like a job description of the one who, operating out of faith in Christ, becomes one of the hagios, the holy ones we honor on this day. In the lives of the Saints, the Church holds up a life as an inspiration to what is possible with God’s grace. Continue reading

Those Among Us

This coming Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Year B of the lectionary cycle. The Gospel is taken from Mark:  In the course of his teaching he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces,  seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets.  They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.’  He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.  A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.  Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, ‘Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury.  For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.’ (Mark 12:38–44) Continue reading

All Saints Day with the saints

During the first 300 year of the Christian church, the people of God endured periods of peace, but also extended periods of persecution. Especially in the local churches, each generation remembered the martyrs and the leaders who exemplified the faith. By the fourth century these women and men were honored in liturgies that commemorated their passing into God’s bright glory. In time, churches were named to honor their memory, sometimes even built on their tombs. And in time relics were collected and honored. Continue reading