City (AsiaNews) - "What do the Saints tell us today? They tell us to trust
the Lord because He does not disappoint! The Lord is our friend; He never disappoints!
With their witness, they encourage us not to be afraid of going
against the tide or of being misunderstood and ridiculed when we speak about
Him and the Gospel". This is the teaching Pope Francis offers for the
Solemnity of All Saints, which the Catholic Church celebrates today.
Pope Francis has often called on Christians to "go against the tide".
today's feast, he focuses on three aspects of going against the dominant mind-set.
The first is victory
over death. "The
feast of All Saints," the pope said, "reminds us that death is not the goal of
our existence, Heaven is! As the Apostle John wrote, 'We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall
see him as he is' (1Jn, 3:2). The Saints, God's friends, assure
us that this promise will not disappoint. During their earthly existence in
lived in deep communion with God, so much so that they become like Him. In the
faces of their younger and more despised brothers, they saw God's face, and now
they contemplate it face to face in its glorious beauty."
The second aspect is to live the beatitudes following Jesus Christ. "To
be holy," the pope noted, "is not a privilege of a few, but a vocation for
everyone. Everyone can be called to walk along the path of holiness, and this
path has a name and a face: Jesus Christ. He shows us the way in the Gospel:
that of the Beatitudes (cf. Mt,
5:1-12). The Kingdom of Heaven is in fact for those who put their safety in God'
love, not in things. It is for those who have a simple, humble
heart; those who do not assume to be fair; those who do not judge others; those
who know how to suffer with those who suffer and rejoice with those who rejoice;
those who are merciful, not violent, who try to be artisans of reconciliation
The third aspect is love against hate. "The
Saints," Francis noted, "are not supermen, nor were they born perfect. They are
people who before reaching the glory of heaven led a normal life, with joys and
sorrows, struggles and hopes. But when they encountered God's love, they followed
him wholeheartedly, without preconditions or hypocrisy. They spent their lives
in the service of others, endured suffering and adversity without hate and
responded to evil with good deeds, spreading joy and peace. Saints are men and
have joy in their heart and pass it onto others." Indeed, "Saints did
not hate," he said. "Love comes from God. From whom comes hatred? Saints do
The pontiff also pointed out that "The Church wisely placed in close succession
the feast days of All Saints and the Commemoration
of All the Faithful Departed. Our prayer praising God and venerating the
blessed spirits joins the prayer of suffrage
for all who have gone before us, passing from this world to eternal life."
Right after the Angelus prayer, Francis announced that, in the afternoon,
he would got to Rome's Verano Cemetery to celebrate Mass.
"I shall be spiritually united," he said, "with all those who are now
visiting cemeteries, where those who have come before us in the sign of faith are
at sleep, waiting for the day of resurrection. Specifically, I shall pray for
the victims of violence, especially for the Christians who have lost their lives
because of persecution."
"In particular," he said ad-lib with reference to the many war
refugees, "I shall pray for our brothers and sisters who have died of fatigue
and hunger on their way to a better life. In recent days, we have seen pictures
of this cruel desert. Let us hold a moment of silence
to pray for these brothers and sisters of ours."