Morning Mass
 Feast of All Saints
November 1, 2004 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier


As we celebrate today this wonderful feast of All Saints, we have to ask ourselves what is required in order to be part of that number, that countless number from every tribe and tongue and people and nation that Saint John saw. It is made very clear in Scripture. First of all, it is to be marked with the seal of the living God. Each and every one of us on the day of our baptism was marked with the Sign of the Cross upon our foreheads. We also, however, have to live the life. As Our Lord makes very clear in the Gospel reading today as He talks about the Beatitudes, we have to live the life of Jesus Christ. If we are baptized into Christ and if we are marked with the Cross, then we are to live accordingly. That is why Saint John would hear the angels say, These are the ones who have survived the period of great trial; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

There is only one way to get to heaven – and that is Jesus Christ. He is the only way and there is no other way. Even for those who have never heard of Jesus Christ before, in order to get to heaven they would have to make that act of faith. Now we know from what the Church teaches us that every person will be granted the grace necessary for salvation. That certainly does not imply that every person will accept the grace, but every person will be offered the grace. That means for each one of us, for all our family members, for all our friends, even those who hate Our Lord, God offers to them all the grace necessary; and, at every moment of their lives, the grace necessary for conversion and for salvation is present to them. So we need to pray for those people. We need also, of course, to pray for ourselves that we will truly live as children of God, making ourselves pure, as He is pure, as Saint John says.

 Today we celebrate those who have survived that period of trial. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. They are the ones now who are like Him. We do not yet know what that will be like, but they do. They have entered into God’s glory. They still await the fullness of glory when their bodies will rise from the dead and be reunited with their souls, but even now these holy souls are looking at God face-to-face, bowing down before the throne, as we heard in the first reading from the Book of Revelation, and giving God glory and honor all of the time. Not that there is any time in eternity, but it is the only way we can think of it: At every moment of every day, they are giving God all glory and honor and power and might.

We too can begin that process, to live our lives according to what it is that happens right here at Mass, because that is what eternity will be. It will be Mass. It will be adoration of our blessed Lord, the adoration of our heavenly Father and of the Lamb Who is seated on the throne. That is the One Whom we will receive in just a few moments. He is the One Whom we are called to adore, and it is His life that we are called to live. To make our robes white in the blood of the Lamb is to confess our sins, to accept a share of His suffering in our lives, to live according to the Beatitudes as He Himself has taught us to live, to allow Him even now to live His life in us and through us, and to be conformed to Jesus Christ so that even now we are worshiping the Lamb Who is seated on the throne. Even now we are being purified in this time of trial so that we too one day will be found worthy to become like Him, to share in His glory, to be able to bow down before the throne of Almighty God and give Him worship and adoration for the rest of eternity.

*  This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.
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