People who sanctified themselves through an ordinary life


Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate this feast day in honor of all the saints: at this solemnity the angels rejoice and praise the Son of God

Today's feast recalls and proposes for our common meditation some fundamental components of our Christian faith, as Pope John Paul II pointed out. At the center of the Liturgy are above all the great themes of the Communion of Saints, of the universal destiny of salvation, of the source of all holiness which is God himself, of the certain hope in the future and indestructible union with the Lord, of the relationship between salvation and suffering and of a beatitude that already now characterizes those who find themselves in the conditions described by Jesus. But the key to the feast we celebrate today "is joy, as we prayed in the entrance antiphon: Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate this feast day in honor of all the Saints; and it is a genuine, limpid, corroborative joy, like that of one who finds himself in a great family where he knows he has his own roots...". This great family is that of the saints: those in Heaven and those on earth.

The Church, our Mother, invites us today to think of those who, like us, passed through this world with difficulties and temptations similar to ours, and overcame. It is that immense crowd that no one could count, of every nation, race, people and language, as the First Reading of the Mass reminds us. All are marked on the forehead and clothed in white garments, washed in the blood of the Lamb. The mark and the garments are symbols of Baptism, which imprints on man forever the character of belonging to Christ, and the grace renewed and increased by the sacraments and good works.

Many Saints - of every age and condition - have been recognized as such by the Church, and every year we remember them on some specific day and we take them as intercessors for as much help as we need. But today we celebrate, and ask for their help, that countless multitude that reached Heaven after passing through this world sowing love and joy, without hardly realizing it; we remember those who, while they were among us, did, perhaps, a job similar to ours: office workers, laborers, professors, merchants, secretaries...; they also had difficulties similar to ours and had to start over many times, as we try to do; and the Church does not make a nominal mention of them in the Sanctoral. In the light of faith, they form "a great panorama: that of so many lay faithful, often unnoticed or even misunderstood; unknown by the great of the earth, but looked upon with love by the Father, men and women who, precisely in the life and activity of each day, are the untiring laborers who work in the vineyard of the Lord; they are the humble and great artisans by the power of grace, certainly of the growth of the Kingdom of God in history "5. 5 In short, they are those who, "with God's help, have been able to preserve and perfect in their lives the sanctification they received" in Baptism.

We have all been called to the fullness of Love, to fight against our own passions and disordered tendencies, to begin again whenever necessary, because "holiness does not depend on the state of being single, married, widowed, priest, but on the personal correspondence to grace, which is given to all of us". The Church reminds us that the worker who picks up his tool or his pen every morning, or the mother of a family dedicated to the chores of the home, in the place that God has designated for them, must sanctify themselves by faithfully fulfilling their duties.

It is consoling to think that in Heaven, contemplating the face of God, there are people with whom we dealt with some time ago here below, and with whom we are still united by a deep friendship and affection. They give us much help from Heaven, and we remember them with joy and have recourse to their intercession.

Today we make our own that petition of St. Teresa, which she herself will also hear on this Solemnity: "O blessed souls, who knew how to profit so well, and to buy such a delightful inheritance...! Help us, since you are so close to the fountain; fetch water for those of us who are perishing of thirst here".