All Saints and All Souls

Kuwait City, 1-2 November 2014

Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič

Rev 7:2-4.9-14; 1Jn 3:1-3; Mt 5:1-12

The solemnity of All Saints unites heaven and earth, God with humanity, the Church in heaven together with all the souls in purgatory and the pilgrim Church on earth. The Saints and Blessed who have preceded us into heaven, were human beings just like us, comprised of flesh and blood, and an immortal soul. They were deeply aware of their sinfulness and weaknesses, and conscious of the great mercy of God, through which we simple mortals undeservedly become God’s righteous ones and his elect. The Saints are not freaks or superhuman, but simple and humble people who believed in and prayed to God, who lived by his every word, who fed themselves with the Body of Christ and faithfully served him in various ways, through the tiny insignificant matters of life or by the shedding of their blood in martyrdom.

The Saints and Blessed are those who were poor in spirit. They came to the realization that material things and the world provide no meaning to life compared to God and the glory of his kingdom. They were men and women who through the power of faith were willing to leave everything in order to gain all that is worthwhile and eternal. They knew how to cry with those weeping, to share their bread with the hungry, to seek justice for the underprivileged and to forgive always, up to seventy times seven. They are our brothers and sisters who believed in the gospel teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ and lived by it.

Our deceased relatives and friends, in leaving us and this world, have passed the threshold to eternity. Their souls are now in God’s hands and if they lived a holy life and died in God’s grace, then they are already living in heaven. However, if some stain of sin remains on their souls, then they will undergo a time of purification, which we call purgatory, in expectation of their desired encounter with God. Therefore, we believe that our departed ones are not truly dead but alive to God, and we do well to remember them in prayer and to offer masses for them, which can help atone for their sins and assist their purification process. We remain spiritually united with those who have passed from this world to the next through our prayers to God for the eternal wellbeing of their souls.

As we journey through this world on our way to eternity, let us remember that we are called to holiness and to live in communion with God. Our eternity already begins here on earth when we believe in Christ the Lord, who conquered death for us, who rose from the dead to give us back life and who is constantly extending his invitation to each of us: come follow me! (Mark 2:14).

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